06 October 2022

Crystallium takes next step up the ladder at Newmarket

06 October 2022

Crystallium could provide Tom Clover with the biggest success of his training career when she takes her chance in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket.

The daughter of Expert Eye, who was a relatively inexpensive breeze-up purchase at 28,000 guineas, is two from two so far and now steps up to Group level on Friday with a perfect record and burgeoning reputation to keep in tact.

A clear-cut winner on the all-weather on debut, she made light work of a deep conditions contest at Newbury on her second outing which sees her head the market for this seven-furlong Group Three on the Rowley Mile.

On Crystallium’s position at the top of the market, Clover said: “Gosh, they do take a bit of winning, but we’ve been pleased with her since the conditions race at Newbury and she is in good form.

“We’re under no illusions, she is the favourite and has a great chance, but there is some strong opposition there.”

He added: “Good ground will be lovely for her and fingers crossed she can have a smooth run and be thereabouts at the finish.

“She’s got a lovely page and she’s a nice filly and I would love it for the owners if she could run a big race, it would be terrific. We’ll worry about Friday first, but of course it’s a natural stepping stone to other things potentially if all goes to plan.”

Ralph Beckett’s Lose Yourself, Roger Varian’s Youngest and Richard Fahey’s Midnight Mile all arrive having won their sole racecourse outings, while Eve Johnson Houghton’s Rage Of Bamby lost her unbeaten record in the Rockfel Stakes over course and distance last month.

The daughter of Saxon Warrior was a bronze medallist in that Group Two event beaten four lengths by Commissioning and her handler thinks that sets her up perfectly for her return to HQ.

“Rage Of Bamby is in great form,” said Johnson Houghton. “She ran a lovely race in the Rockfel and we were really pleased with that. We’re just hoping she can step up on that and we’d like to think she’ll be close to winning. She’s a lovely horse.”

Michael Grassick holds Irish raider Small Oasis in the highest regard, but is worried about conditions for his traveller.

We think she could be special, but the ground would be a big worry

He said: “We think she could be special, but the ground would be a big worry. She’s a far better filly with a bit of juice in the ground, so hopefully the ground doesn’t get too quick for her.”

There was little to separate Richard Hannon’s Immortal Beauty and Rod Millman’s Tagline when they finished third and fourth respectively in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury and both return to seven furlongs, while George Boughey’s Believing has gone close at this level the last twice and will be looking to make it third-time lucky.

“Believing steps up to seven furlongs for the first time,” said Boughey. “She was probably unlucky not to get up in the Firth of Clyde. Before that she chased home a nice horse of Charlie Appleby’s at Kempton who went on to run well in a Group One and Malrescia did the form no harm when she was second in the Listed race at Dundalk the other night.

“She’s doing well, is bred to get seven furlongs and her running style looks that way. I think the ground should be perfect for her and I hope she’ll run a nice race.”

Queen Olly (David Loughnane) and Red N Blue Candy (Tom Dascombe) complete the line-up.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox