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Colt ticks two boxes for trainer

28 October 2017, 2:47 p.m.

Danny Walker’s two-fold mission at Ellerslie was executed to perfection on Saturday by his first-starter Crystallize.

The Cambridge trainer produced the precocious son of Iffraaj to triumph in the Cure Kids 880m with the $13,500 winner’s cheque almost certain to land the colt a spot in the Listed Karaka Million (1200m).

Crystallize Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

The January 27 feature is at the top of Walker’s wish list for Crystallize, who now also has invaluable experience of the Auckland course.

“We’ve got Karaka Million money now so I can give him a little break,” he said. “He’s had a good look around here and he seemed to handle it all very well.”

Off the back of a trial win at Ruakaka earlier this month, Crystallize jumped smartly to lead and he responded positively in the straight when asked for his best by rider Alysha Collett.

“He’s a professional little horse and came on since that trial,” Walker said. “He’s done nothing wrong at all. He kicked back well so that’s very pleasing.”

Purchased out of Haunui Farm’s Select Sale draft at Karaka earlier this year for $52,500, Crystallize was bred by the Melbourne-based Lindsay de Souza who has enjoyed major success as an owner.

He has enjoyed a successful association with the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable, most notably with the multiple Group One winner Turn Me Loose. Now retired to Windsor Park Stud, he is also a son of Iffraaj.

Raced by Brookby Stables, Crystallize held off a stern challenge from Al Hasa, whose juvenile stablemate Avantage won the New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Race (800m) at Riccarton 15 minutes later for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards. – NZ Racing Desk.