Fahey backing Crystal to sparkle in Princess Margaret

Richard Fahey is “expecting a bit better” from Pretty Crystal as she lines up in a strong renewal of the Bateaux London Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot.

The Dubawi filly finished fifth in the Albany Stakes over the same course and six-furlong distance at last month’s Royal meeting, with that form already franked by runner-up Matrika and fourth-placed Persian Dreamer, who followed up their defeats by Porta Fortuna with their own Group Two successes.

Persian Dreamer’s stablemate Komat was sixth in the Albany and they take each other on again, with Fahey hopeful Pretty Crystal can gain a second win in three runs, following a smart debut success at Ripon.

“I do like her quite a bit and thought she ran OK at Ascot,” said Fahey. “She has improved, but she’ll need to.

“She’s in good form and I don’t see why she shouldn’t go on the likely easier ground.

“I’m expecting a bit better from her this time to be fair. She’s a nice filly.”

Komat tried six furlongs for the first time at the Royal meeting, bypassing the five-furlong Queen Mary, and was three-quarters of a length behind Pretty Crystal.

Trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis feels she will appreciate the easier surface than she encountered in the Albany.

He said: “She is a tough little filly, who won first time out at Redcar on soft ground. She hasn’t really had her ground since.

“She ran a very good race in France when third in a Listed race, then came back. The ground was a shade on the quick side for her at Ascot.

“She is probably not quite up to Albany standard, but she is a very nice filly and we are hoping she can get some large black type at some point. The recent rain can only help her cause.”

Symbology, a daughter of Havana Grey, produced an eyecatching win at York on debut two weeks ago and has a Group Two Lowther entry.

Clive Cox feels she will not be out of place in taking a class hike, and said: “She’s a nice filly. That was still a novice and this is a huge step forwards in comparison, but this is a filly we like very much and I’m pleased, all being well, she will line up on Saturday.

“We’ve been having a really pleasing run with the two-year-olds and that was another pleasing success in a week where we’d won the July Stakes and had a double at Doncaster as well, so it gave us a good feel.

“She is a really nice filly and a full sister to Katey Kontent, who was a very pleasing juvenile, so I’m very much hoping things go well on Saturday. She deserves a step up in class and she is in good order.”

Cry Fiction was also a winner on debut, and followed up her Windsor maiden success when chasing home the smart Star Of Mystery at Newmarket in the Listed Empress Fillies’ Stakes.

“She was meant to have had two runs before the Newmarket race but had a little setback, so she went into the race green and inexperienced which showed,” said trainer Jonathan Portman.

“She was also on the far side of the winner and she might have got closer to the winner had she been drawn the same side.

“She’s quite highly strung at home and she keeps us on our toes a bit, but some of those good fillies do.

“I think there will be some fillies in there that are very smart and it will be a tough race, but she has come on again from Newmarket which is the main thing.”

James Horton fields Lunar Shine, who scored by two lengths in a fillies’ novice over the same trip at Thirsk on debut.

“She did everything right at Thirsk and this was the obvious next step,” he said. “I don’t really know what to expect from her, because she didn’t show us a huge amount at home before went to Thirsk and did it very well.

“She looks as though she has sharpened up a bit and we know she goes on the ground, so we’re hoping for a big run.”

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