Ag­gres­sion vi­tal

Crys­tal Lily to take it to Black Caviar in New­mar­ket

Townsville Bulletin - - Racing -

GOLDEN Slip­per win­ner Crys­tal Lily may get the chance to throw down the gaunt­let to un­beaten mare Black Caviar with more ag­gres­sive rid­ing tac­tics in the New­mar­ket Hand­i­cap.

Co-train­ers Mathew Ellerton and Si­mon Zahra are not con­vinced the three-year-old filly is at her best up the straight but be­lieve they erred with their ap­proach to the Light­ning Stakes at Flem­ing­ton in which she fin­ished fifth to the cham­pion mare on Fe­bru­ary 19.

Zahra said Black Caviar had ev­ery sta­ble bluffed in­clud­ing his own in that she had been able to dom­i­nate her r a c e s i n t he e a r l y s t a g e s vir­tu­ally un­chal­lenged.

He hinted that should Crys­tal Lily run in Satur­day’s New­mar­ket, the tac­tics would be more ag­gres­sive and she would run her own race and not Black Caviar’s. ‘‘ Ev­ery­one just wants to try and sit off her back and then try to go with her,’’ Zahra said.

‘‘ We fell into the trap as well last time with Crys­tal Lily and should have just let her run.

‘‘ Lily is at her best when she is in full flight but we stuffed up.’’

He pointed to the slow first 200m sec­tional in the Light­ning Stakes of 13.75s which showed a lack of ag­gres­sion from the competition.

She then blew away her op­po­si­tion away with a sub-32s mid­dle 600m and was able to win eas­ily pulling up.

Zahra said that while the re­sult may not have been any dif­fer­ent, some ini­tia­tive was needed if there was any chance of avoid­ing a re­peat of the dom­i­nance Black Caviar showed in the Light­ning.

‘‘ She would prob­a­bly just go bang and win any­way but at the mo­ment it is like ev­ery­one is al­ler­gic to her. They don’t want to be in front of her early.’’

Zahra said a fi­nal de­ci­sion on a New­mar­ket start for Crys­tal Lily had been de­ferred un­til ac­cep­tance time to­mor­row.

‘‘ We will see how she does this week be­fore we make our minds up,’’ Zahra said.

A win­ner of four of 10 starts, Crys­tal Lily has failed at her only two runs up the straight, in­clud­ing the Light­ning.

Zahra s ai d her dis­ap­point­ing ‘‘ straight’’ record, which also in­cluded a third at her sec­ond start on Mel­bourne Cup Day two years ago, was a worry. How­ever he con­firmed sta­ble­mate Re­sponse, win­ner of the Sir Ru­pert Clark in the spring, would chase her sec­ond Group One suc­cess in the fea­ture sprint.

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