NZ trio on the outer for Brisbane majors

Melody Belle winning last Saturday. Photo courtesy Ross Stevenson.

The Stephen Autridge-Jamie Richards training partnership face $80,000 in late acceptance fees after missing the early pay-up for three runners in Brisbane Group One races.

Melody Belle, favourite for the JJ Atkins, Shocking Luck, a top Queensland Derby chance and Stradbroke Handicap hope Splurge, were not among the acceptances for the races on Wednesday morning.

The Matamata-based training partnership can now make a late payments of $18,000 for each of the JJ Atkins and Derby and $45,000 for the Stradbroke.

Richards and Autridge are considering their position.

“I have no further comment at this stage,” Richards said.

Twenty-seven horses remained in the $1.5 million Stradbroke but early favourite Black Heart Bart was not among the acceptances.

Last week’s Group One Kingsford Smith Cup winner Clearly Innocent heads the handicaps with 55.5kg but weights will be lifted 1.5kg.

There are 24 horses left in the Derby and 19 paid up for the JJ Atkins.

Corporate bookmakers have suspended betting on the three races until the situation with the kiwi horses is resolved.

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