Victorem grabs Group placing as Melody Belle wins 13th G1

Daughter of Shooting To Win looking at bigger spring targets

Victorem made the progression from maiden winner to Stakes placegetter in Saturday’s G3 Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham, NZ, with a performance that suggested the daughter of Shooting To Win will be a force in better races.

In front with 500m to run, Victorem held off all but the winner Force Of Will to be beaten by 1-1/4 lengths.

After showing promise in her only start at two, Victorem has gradually been stepped up in distance this season to the 1,600m of Saturday’s race in which she gave the impression that she would appreciate even longer.

Victorem’s placing came on a program in which New Zealand’s highest-ranked racehorse, Melody Belle, a daughter of the much-lamented Darley stallion Commands, won her 13th G1 race in the Thorndon Mile.

The win equalled the G1 record of NZ’s international star Sunline, confirming Melody Belle as the best the country has produced in almost 20 years.

At his peak at the time of his death in 2014, Commands has sired 13 individual G1 victors, including the Darley stallions Epaulette and Holler, among 80 Stakes winners.