Simona Calvin Habib Gavin

The field for the 1600m ZRP Fillies Charity Stakes at Borrowdale Park on Saturday is evenly split between three and four-year-olds and, on this occasion, two of the three-year-olds may have the edge.  At least the handicapper thinks so.

Wylde Style (MR 84) and Crystalline (MR 70) have the highest ratings in this field of eight, and admittedly this pair were the first to catch my eye…before I began to wonder how one could possibly compare  Wylde Style, former champion two-year-old and seven-time winner,  with one-time winner Crystalline.

However, having looked at the form for a couple of hours, I am doing exactly that.

Crystalline has had six starts at Borrowdale Park and always finished in the money. She won a 2000m Maiden Plate in April, beating Whatsnewpussycat, and ran second to Solinski in both the 1800m TBA Silver Slipper and the Zimbabwe Oaks. On OK Grand Challenge day the daughter of Biarritz finished a close third behind Kevin Barry and David’s Flower over 1600m. Her last start was in a 1600m Novice Plate, won by Saturday’s runner and stable mate, Simona.  This time Crystalline has a 2 kgs turnaround in weight with Simona, for a 2.50 lengths beating, which should bring her closer. In fact Bridget Stidolph has a strong hand with her runners, Crystalline, Placid Sea and Simona, but they all have to beat Wylde Style.

Amy  Bronkhorst’s  Wylde Style probably prefers a shorter trip but won both the 1600m Tote Free Handicap and the 1600m Fillies Classic. More recently she finished second to Flasher On The Run in the Zimbabwe Guineas, and third to Solinski in the Zimbabwe Oaks, prior to some tough campaigning in the Castle Tankard and the OK Grand Challenge.

Wylde Style, Ladies First and Penny Fisher’s charge, Betula Uber will all carry 60 kgs to Crystalline’s 54 kgs on Saturday, which is why I have given so much thought to this relative newcomer.

That said I am still far from convinced Crystalline will beat Wylde Style. Whatever you do include both these fillies in your Quartet…along with Betula Uber, Placid Sea, Simona and Ladies First.

Photograph by Gavin Macleod: The Gimmethegreenlight filly, Simona, stable mate of Crystalline, might be the cat among the pigeons.  Seen here with Apprentice Calvin Habib. Jarryd Penny rides on Saturday.


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