A full sister to 2010 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily will make her debut at Caulfield this Saturday with Crystal Ruby an acceptor in the Procal Dairies Handicap (1000m).
Crystal Ruby not only shares the same bloodlines as the deceased mare but is prepared by trainers Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra who looked after Crystal Lily for her entire racing career that included her Golden Slipper victory, a win in the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) and second place finishers behind the great Black Caviar in the 2011 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and William Reid Stakes (1200m).
Zahra said Crystal Ruby has shown evidence of the same natural talent possessed by her sister but believes that is where the similarities end.
“She’s totally the opposite to Crystal Lily,” Zahra told Radio Sports National.
“She’s a chestnut with a bit of a white blaze and she’s a lot smaller and finer.
“She’s showing very good natural ability, she’s shown good speed in her jumpouts and she’s come through them very well.”
Crystal Ruby has been allocated the bottom weight (54kg) in the Procal Dairies Handicap field of ten horses and will take on a number of horses with substantial racing experience.
Zahra is not ruling a possible victory but admits the Stratum filly faces a tough assignment on Saturday.
“She’s well educated and has enough natural ability to be competitive on Saturday but in saying that it’s pretty hard to win your first start in town.
“Even Crystal Lily got beaten on debut.”
The training duo already have their eyes set on the riches of the Autumn and plan on giving the two-year-old a limited spring campaign in order to have her in prime condition for the 2014 Melbourne Festival of Racing.
“She’ll have a good spell during the spring and then be ready for a good preparation during the autumn next year,” Zahra said.
Crystal Lily died after suffering a fall during trackwork in September 2011.