Melody Belle beaten in bid for record

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Melody Belle's bid to set a new benchmark for Group One wins by a New Zealand-trained horse has fallen short after she was beaten in the Herbie Dykes Stakes.

The Jamie Richards-trained mare currently shares the record with the mighty Sunline, both gallopers having won 13 elite races apiece.

Bad luck in the run put paid to her chances of adding the Group One Herbie Dykes to her resume at Te Rapa on Saturday with Royal Performer scoring an upset win.

Trained and owned by Bob Vance and his wife Jenny, Royal Performer was the pair's first Group One winner.

"What can I say, I just can't believe it," Vance told the NZ Racing Desk.

"I knew he was a good horse, but he got the perfect run."

Trainer Jamie Richards said Melody Belle appeared to have pulled up well after getting an interrupted passage but would have precautionary tests in the coming days to ensure nothing was amiss.