For most trainers Melody Belle's Telegraph shocker would ruin their week. But Jamie Richards can't let it because a couple of far richer targets are just days away.

Richards was as bemused as punters as to why the glamour mare dropped out to run 16th as the $2.50 favourite on Saturday even after a peach of a ride from Jason Waddell.

"I don't have an excuse," admits Richards. "She travelled down well, she has come home fine. But it just wasn't there on the day." Melody Belle will undergo the usual blood tests today but failing anything irregular the Te Akau trainer is short of excuses. "Maybe it was because she went such a huge race when third in the Railway fresh up but really that is clutching at straws. The honest answer is, I don't know what went wrong."

Even if nothing is amiss with the four-year-old her failure is a spanner in the works for summer plans, that could have included the weight-for-age sprint at Te Rapa on February 9 and even trying to get a start in the A$5 million All Stars Mile at Flemington.


But Richards didn't have time to dwell on the Belle beating as he has five reps in Saturday's Karaka Million and others in the $1m Karaka Classic.

"The two-year-olds all seem good," he says.

"They will do some work on Tuesday morning and then that will be about it before the big day."

The stable has the $2.60 favourite for the Million in Probabeel as they try to win it for the third straight year.