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Champions series dark horses: Crimson Rock

6 Feb 2017

The Ralph Beckett-trained filly looks one to keep in mind for the Investec Oaks.

crimson rock

Crimson Rock and Fran Berry win the Conundrum HR Consulting EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies Stakes at Newbury.


Trainer: Ralph Beckett
Form: 1

Ralph Beckett has won three Classics with fillies since 2008 and he has another to note for this year in the shape of Crimson Rock.

She changed hands for $1 million as a yearling and perhaps that is no surprise as she is certainly bred for the job, being closely related to Peeping Fawn (a four-time Group 1 winner at up to a mile and a half) and a half-sister to Thewayyouare (Group 1 winner over a mile).

Horses sold for big money do not always come up to scratch but Crimson Rock got her career off to the perfect start when scoring over a mile on her debut at Newbury in late October.

The bare form is nothing to get too excited about but it is worth noting that Beckett won the same contest with Secret Gesture in 2012 before she went on to make a name for herself in the Champions Series when finishing runner-up in the 2013 Investec Oaks. She was beaten that day by stablemate Talent.

Beckett also won the Oaks with Look Here in 2008, while Simple Verse won the St Leger for him in 2015.
Crimson Rock impressed with the way she picked up the leaders in the closing stages after a messy start at Newbury and it would be no surprise if Lingfield’s Oaks Trial in May was already pencilled in to her schedule.

Look Here and Secret Gesture both reappeared in that race en route to Epsom.

One note of caution is that she may need some give in the ground to be seen at her best. The going was good to soft at Newbury, while Peeping Fawn and Thewayyouare coped well with testing conditions.

On the plus side, the ground at Epsom is generally watered to generate going that is no quicker than good. Crimson Rock is a general 20-1 for the Oaks, in a market headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Rhododendron.

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