Gai Waterhouse and Gooree Stud combined to win the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes at Wyong on Friday afternoon with talented mare Sweetest Melody (5m Encosta de Lago x Ornamental Rose, by Catrail) .
A progressive five year-old, Sweetest Melody was having her first crack at Black Type having looked impressive in previous wins as she’s been working her way up through the lower grades.
With smart victories at Rosehill in her first two runs back this campaign, Sweetest Melody looked well placed in this 1350 metre assignment and turned in a career best performance for Chris Munce.
She raced on the pace and kicked strongly in the straight to beat seasoned stakes-winner Red Tracer by a length, her overall record now an enviable seven wins and two placings from 11 starts with prizemoney of $226,170.
A homebred for Gooree, Sweetest Melody is a half-sister to Group III placed Well Noted and is the first stakes-winner for Ornamental Rose, a half-sister by Catrail to stakes-winner Sir Success from the family of Group I winner Swiss Ace.
She was consigned to the 2008 Magic Millions Yearling Sale by Widden Stud on behalf of Gooree, but passed in shy of her $200,000 reserve so was retained to race.
Sweetest Melody is the 85th stakes-winner for champion sire Encosta deLago, who nearly made it a stakes double for the day when his daughter Essence of Success ( 5m Encosta de Lago x Mosi Au Tunya, by Deputy Minister) finished an unlucky second in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup..