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  • Ian Ender

STARS OF THE PAST PART 16.

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 twelve furlongs that the penny appeared to drop, when he finished an eye catching staying on 6th of twelve off a mark of fifty five. 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 3rd birthday, and it was already evident that he needed extreme trips to bring out the best. He went on to place 3rd twice at Redcar, both over fourteen 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 eleven 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 3rd last. He finished his 3 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 21ib'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 fifty nine, over 2 miles, it was no surprise he won with ease.Two further placings off sixty eight, was followed by his first appearance in a Pontefract marathon, in October where he relished the eighteen furlongs winning by a short head. His main aim for the 2009 campaign was to win the 'Pontefract Stayers Championship,' he took in 4 of the series' races, winning 1 and being placed on all of the other 3. 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 5 lengths, but at Musselburgh on his next attempt, the following February, over two miles and 4 furlongs, he was outpaced.

He unfortunately succumbed to injury after that and didn't race again for some nineteen 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 2 miles and 5 furlongs.He had 3 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 4 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.


TYPHON 29 April 2010 Proud Citizen-Seven Moons Owner-D H Lees & Sons Limited

Typhon joined us after being purchased at the Newmarket horses in training sales in the Autumn of 2014. He had raced as a 2 and 3 year old for the Newmarket yard of David Lanigan, in the ownership of the Niarchos Family,

He had 3 runs as a juvenile, culminating in a 5 length, 6th of twelve at Newmarket over 7 furlongs, earning a handicap mark of 69. He raced 8 times as a 3 year old, winning twice, at Doncaster in June, and on his last start for the Lanigan yard at Lingfield in October, both over 1 mile and 2 furlongs.He was gelded the following month.

By the time he had his first run for us, he had been off the track for nearly fifteen months, so was entitled to be a little ring rusty for his stable debut, which was also his hurdling debut at Catterick. He trailed in a well beaten 7th, with the soft ground also not helping his cause. A further two runs, both in the soft, showed no further improvement, but he now had his handicap mark of eighty seven, which looked very workable compared with his flat achievements. On better ground at Sedgefield in March, he made his handicap debut a winning one, being driven out by jockey Joe Colliver for a decisive 5 length success, this would also prove to be his last run over hurdles.

His return to the flat a month later at Pontefract ended in disappointment when Graham Lee pulled him up after only 3 furlongs, reporting the horse had lost his action, the vet also reported that he had bled from the nose.He was back on the track two months later at Ripon over 1 mile and 4 furlongs, but weakened quickly when push came to shove.It was more or less deja vous over the same course and distance two weeks later, and a week after that at Nottingham when dropped back two furlongs, he once again failed to see out the race. He was given a break to freshen him up, and on his return at Catterick in October, he once again bled from the nose, and it was decided it was time to pull up stumps.

Typhon gave owner Darrel Lees his first ever winner as an owner, a memory he will treasure for always. As for Typhon, he is one of the lucky horses, enjoying his retirement with the Trainer family of Danny,Gemma, and daughter Izzy.


MEMORY CLOTH 18 February 2007 Cape Cross-Gossamer Owner-RM&T Holdings Limited.


Memory Cloth was bred to be out of the top draw, being by Cape Cross out of the Sadler's Well mare Gossamer, who achieved a BHA mark of 118 during an eight race career. He was bred by the Darley Stud and went in to training with Andre Fabre as a two year old, racing just the once at Chantilly. He reappeared at three winning at Saint-Cloud, then was tested in Group Three company back at Chantilly, only going down by three and three quarter lengths in finishing sixth of eight, and earning a Racing Post Rating of 106.

It would be sixteen months until he was seen again on a racecourse, having been acquired by Mike John of RM&T Holdings, and put in to training with Brian Ellison at Norton, in North Yorkshire.Off a mark of 95 he took his time to find his feet, but when the handicapper finally relented, he made no mistake on his fifth British start on April 28th 2012 at Ripon with Kieron Fallon booked. Memory Cloth had now found his stride, following up with three placed efforts and a win at Newcastle in June, taking his rating back up to 101.

That was the peak of his form as he found it difficult to cope with his very high rating, and the wear and tear of previous excursions were catching up with him. He was sent hurdling in 2013 finishing third twice from six starts, before a return to the flat in 2014. Off a much reduced mark of 70 and striking up a formidable partnership with the then seven pounds claimer Megan Carberry he found a new lease of life winning three times in under a month, taking his rating back up to 82.

After a seventh month break he came back, running respectably to be placed in three of his six races, but probably finding his mark too high. His owner Mike John who has always been a fantastic supporter of our yard thought that Memory Cloth might benefit for a change of scenery, so he was transferred to Oakwood Stables. He ran just the five times for us, with his best run coming at Pontefract under Jack Garritty, beaten by two and a half lengths in to forth.

Age had finally caught up with him, and this high class bred in the purple performer deserved a good home to spend his retirement. Things couldn't have turned out better for him as he now lives out his days in the loving care of Emma White, the General Manager of Sedgefield Racecourse, and recently there was even more good news for Memory Cloth as Only Orsenfoolies who has just retired has come to keep him company.

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