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FFos Las Preview: Crystal Lake poised to follow-up

The highly progressive Crystal Lake looks a worthy favourite to defy a penalty and land a fifth success of the season in the 1m handicap at Ffos Las today (4.05).

The Ralph Beckett trained colt has been on an upward curve all year, landing a hat-trick in the spring before going on to acquit himself with credit in three runs in higher grade contests.

The son of Verglas then resumed winning ways at Windsor eight days ago when dropped back into class 4 company and slamming Set The Trend by 4 1/2 lengths.

That success and the manner of it suggested Crystal Lake had even more to offer, and it’s no surprise to see him turned out quickly under a 6lb penalty before the assessor has his say.

Connections have also decided to use the services of promising young rider Patrick O’Donnell, whose 7lb claim offsets the penalty and effectively means that Crystal Lake is running off 1lb lower than when bolting up last time out.

That is going to make Crystal Lake extremely tough to beat, and he rates the best bet on the card.

Trainer David Simcock has an excellent record with his runners at the track, and Curbyourenthusiasm can provide him with another winner in the 1m 4f handicap (5.15).

The Newmarket handler has strike rate of just under 22.5% with his runners at the venue since it opened in 2009 (11 winners and 14 placed from 49 runners), and in Curbyourenthusiasm has an unexposed sort who looks potentially very well-treated.

The gelding ran well on his final start of last season when a staying on 5 1/2 length fifth of 13 to Cloudscape in a mile maiden at Kempton after being slowly away, and the winner has developed into a useful type and is now rated 107.

The son of Mastercraftsmen also well on his first two starts this season, before posting an eye-catching effort on handicap debut at Newmarket last time up when third of eight to Maid In Rio off an opening mark of 75.

Curbyourenthusiasm was held-up off the pace in a slowly run race, and after being able to quicken stayed on to be beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

Maid In Rio has gone on to score twice since and and is now rated 106, and the runner-up Battersea won next time up and is officially rated 90.

That is very strong form in the context of this contest, and suggests that Curbyourenthusiasm is well in at the weights off an unchanged mark of 75.

Selections:
2.30: Fingal’s Cave
3.00: Zora Seas
3.35: Delightful Sleep
4.05: Crystal Lake (NAP)
4.40: Waseem Faris
5.15: Curbyourenthusiasm (NB)
5.45: Pink Diamond