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MR CRYSTAL. 5 May 2004 Trempolino-Iybila-Chestnut Gelding Owner-Champagne Ascent Partnership

Mr Crystal is a French bred gelding, out of an unraced Lashkari mare. He raced out of Oakwood Stables for 7 consecutive seasons between 2006-2013.Being stoutly bred meant he didn't make his juvenile debut until running on the all weather in late November 2006. It wasn't until his 5th start in May 2007 at Beverley over 12 furlongs that the penny appeared to drop, when he finished an eye catching staying on sixth of 12 off a mark of 55. This was no false dawn, as over the same course and distance 3 weeks later under 5lb claimer Michael Stainton, he finally got his head in front. He was only just past his third birthday, and it was already evident that he needed extreme trips to bring out the best.

He went on to place third twice at Redcar, both over 14 furlongs, before making his juvenile hurdles debut in September at Perth, which was a winning one, under Wilson Renwick. He was back in Scotland at Kelso 11 days later, winning again by a neck under his penalty. He had earn't himself a crack at something better, and in November at Wetherby he was still travelling strongly in the Listed 'Wensleydale Hurdle' when crashing out at the third last. He finished his three year old season, when just failing by 3/4 of a length at Catterick under a double penalty.

The form Mr Crystal had shown over jumps was at least 21lb's better than his flat performances, so when he returned to the level in May 2008 at Newcastle off a very attractive looking mark of 59, over two miles, it was no surprise he won with ease.Two further placings off 68, was followed by his first appearance in a Pontefract marathon, in October where he relished the 18 furlongs winning by a short head.

His main aim for the 2009 campaign was to win the 'Pontefract Stayers Championship,' he took in four of the series' races, winning one and being placed on all of the other three. He won the prestigious event that year, a fete that our very own Becky The Thatcher, and Tuscan Gold would both emulate in future seasons.

On 31st October he made his chasing debut a winning one at Wetherby, by five lengths, but at Musselburgh on his next attempt, the following February, over two miles and four furlongs, he was outpaced.

He unfortunately succumbed to injury after that and didn't race again for some 19 months. On his return he found marks in the mid 70's on the flat beyond him, and a return to fences off 117 told the same story.His final hurrah occurred at Pontefract in April 2012 when he got himself back in the winners enclosure, over the extended two miles and five furlongs.He had three more runs for us after that, but he just couldn't do it anymore.

After a break of 468 days he returned to racing, on the point to point circuit in the West Country, racing out of the Alexander Ede yard. He raced a further four times, before retiring at the end of November 2015.I have been told by 'Chris Tal' on behalf of the Alexander Ede yard that Mr Crystal is fit and well, and having a fantastic time leading all the youngsters.

Mr Crystal gave us some great moments, especially when winning the Pontefract Stayers Championship, and there was a time when there was also talk of a crack at the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, wonderful memories.

To keep up to date with all the latest happenings at Oakwood Stables, Sharp Hill, and Curlew, click on 'NEWS' at www.mickyhammondracing.

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