RING The Bell and Melissa’s Pride have been crowned joint winners of the 2016 Group 3 Summer Cup (720m) after dead-heating in the final at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
When the lids flew open for the $25,000-to-the-winner event, Melissa’s Pride speared out of box six, rolling straight to the front of the field over Nangar Flame (box four) and Lovelace (box eight), with Ring The Bell (box two) settling in fourth position.
Past the post on the first occasion and Nangar Flame went to make a move through the catching pen, but checked off the leader’s heels, with Melissa’s Pride once again slipping away from her opponents.
Coming off the back and the challengers started threatening, with Nangar Flame, Lovelace and Gunnadoo Cove (box seven) looking to be the main dangers on the home turn.
Entering the straight, Melissa’s Pride kicked once more, with Ring The Bell bursting through along the fence and diving at the frontrunner on the line.
In the end the judge was unable to split the pair which recorded a fair 42.88. Gunnadoo Cove grabbed third, one and one quarter lengths behind the winners, with Lovelace finishing fourth.
Ring The Bell, trained in Victoria by Gerry O’Keeffe has now won 17 of his 56 starts, with the Summer Cup adding to his triumphs in the Group 1 National Distance Championship and the Listed Super Stayers.
Meanwhile, Melissa’s Pride is prepared in the Hunter Valley by Michelle Shambler and has now won eight of her 26 starts, with the regally-bred daughter of Magic Sprite and Cindeen Shelby taking her career earnings above $40,000 with Saturday’s victory.