Horses To Follow » Crystal Morning

Crystal Morning

Crystal Morning did remarkably well to finish third in a three-year-old one-mile handicap at Leopardstown on Saturday given the way the race was run was totally against her. She was drawn 18 of 19, on the wide outside, and she didn’t get cover early, which meant that she was tugging at Fran Berry’s arms through the first couple of furlongs. Indeed many of the runners were pulling hard, suggesting that, unusually, they didn’t go a great gallop in this 19-runner handicap, and that wouldn’t have suited those out the back. Having said that, although the leader managed to stick on for fourth, the first three all raced in the rear half of the field through the early part of the race, suggesting that maybe the pace was stronger than it appeared. Strong pace or not, Crystal Morning, having raced freely, had to make ground widest of all into the straight, five or six horses wide, and she had done a lot of running by the time she got near the leaders. Yet she still ran on best of all to narrowly fail to get up for second place, and Berry wasn’t unduly hard on her once her winning chance had gone.

Jessica Harrington is not noted for making a quick start to the flat campaign (by the end of racing last Sunday she hadn’t had a winner from her first 12 runners this time around), and actually only visited the winner’s enclosure once in the whole of March with her jumpers too. Nevertheless, a couple of her flat runners have run well, and this was one of them. Clearly fit enough on her first start off a mark of 71 following three respectable runs in maidens last year for David Marnane, she should be capable of a good deal better. She has been put up 3lb after this run, put that is not harsh when you consider the winner, One Up One Down, who had a much better run through the race, has gone up 9lb for a length and three quarters win. The runner-up was narrowly beaten in a maiden at Dundalk on Friday. Crystal Morning’s dam, Follow My Lead, is a half-sister to Halicarnassus, a Group 2 winner over a mile and a half. Like him, Crystal Morning is by Cape Cross. She should be able to step up significantly on the bare form of this run, and she should be better again as she steps up in trip.

10th April 2011