Superstar mare Melody Belle celebrated being named New Zealand Horse of the Year when she stormed home to win her 12th individual Group 1 title at Hastings.
The Jamie Richards-trained six-year-old was in a class of her own as she won her second Livamol Classic (2040m) in imperious fashion for rider Troy Harris.
The Commands mare had worked sensationally during the week which had her connections brimming with confidence leading into the contest and she didn't disappoint.
Settled beyond midfield due to her outside barrier, Melody Belle was still giving the leaders a sizeable start with 600m to run. Stablemates Avantage and Prise De Fer took over rounding the home bend but Melody Belle was starting to go through her gears as she dashed to the front at the 300m with a powerful burst.
Harris had an armchair ride over the concluding stages as Melody Belle comfortably held out Avantage, who had also provided the quinella with her a fortnight ago in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m), and outsider Vadavar, who snatched third.
"They only went steady for the first half of the race so there was a touch of concern, but she was explosive in the end," Richards said.
"I don't like to say too much leading into races but she hadn't put a foot wrong and she was awesome today.
"It's a great feeling and the team at home have done a magnificent job with her. We have been under the pump a little as we have horses here, at Riccarton and over in Sydney and they just get on with the job and never moan.
"Twelve Group 1s, a Karaka Million (1200m) and a Group 1 win in Melbourne, she is just going great and is nowhere near finished yet."
Harris was ecstatic.
"She went to sleep in the gates a little and I was happy to be where I was in the run," he said.
"When we got out into the middle of the track and I had come off their backs, she just accelerated and was way too good."
- NZ Racing Desk