Racing: Harmony restored as Melody is reinstated

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THE TEAM behind Taufan's Melody are hoping their horse can put the drama of the last 24 hours behind him and make a prominent show in tomorrow's Caulfield Cup prior to a shot at the Melbourne Cup.

Lady Herries' charge, who has been in quarantine in Australia since last month, was almost forced to miss the race after it was discovered that he was not strictly qualified.

The seven-year-old looked likely to have to miss the Grade One contest after officials at the Victoria Amateur Turf Club realised he had not won enough prize-money to meet the race conditions. However, the Club has used its discretionary power to allow the British challenger to take his chance. It decided to overlook the fact that, due to an error in the exchange rate used to convert his earnings, Taufan's Melody is AUS$400 short of the qualification standard for the Cup.

"I feel awful," Lady Herries said of the controversy. "I knew nothing about it and I can't understand why it's come up now and not weeks ago. It leaves a nasty taste. I'm feeling uncomfortable."

The local trainer Colin Alderson has withdrawn his threat of legal action against the VATC over their failure to put his Our Unicorn in the field in place of Taufan's Melody. Alderson said that he did not want to be accused of bad sportsmanship and apologised to the connections of Taufan's Melody for any embarrassment caused.

Lady Herries is sure of a bold showing from Taufan's Melody. "I'm confident he'll run really well," she said. "It's been said that he's not good enough to run in the race but I'll let the horse do the talking. He's not the most beautiful horse but he's tough, like a terrier."

Britain's other representative, Faithful Son, wound up his preparation with an impressive time of one minute 46 seconds over a mile in his final workout.

"He worked fantastic," Jim Meek, a veteran Caulfield trackman, said. "The best half mile of the morning on Tuesday was General Nediym in 50 seconds so that shows you how well Faithful Son worked."