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Stoute Bullish About Crystal Zvezda
Meanwhile, Sir Michael Stoute anticipates that Crystal Zvezda (Dubawi-Crystal Star, by Mark Of Esteem), a brilliant winner of last month's Listed Fillies' Trial Stakes (10 furlongs) at Newbury, will have no problems handling the class rise in Friday's English Oaks at Epsom, nor does he believe the track and distance will pose any concern. Speaking to Racing UK, Stoute said he had always had a big opinion of the Dubawi filly and that he was confident she possesses the talent and pedigree to be a major player. "We were contemplating sending her to the Guineas but she just wouldn't come in time. And then suddenly, about ten days before Newbury I saw some spark there...because we thought last year that she was pretty smart," Stoute said. "I thought she could be a Guineas filly that would probably stay the Oaks trip because she has a half-brother by Danehill Dancer (Gr2 winner & Gr1-placed Hillstar) that's a mile-and-a-half horse, and Crystal Capella (Crystal Zvezda's stakes winning full-sister) was a mile-and-a-half winner...so they seem to get the trip well from that family." Stoute said he couldn't vouch for the quality of Crystal Zvezda's rivals in the Fillies' Trial, but the way in which she sprinted 3.5-lengths clear at the end of the 2000m proved to him that the Epsom Classic was well within her capabilities. "I don't think it was a particularly good race but it was a turn of foot that she showed and I feel that she can improve from that," he said. "She's an athletic and good moving filly...I think she'll handle the course well." When asked how much improvement was to come from Crystal Zvezda, Stoute replied: "There wouldn't need to be a lot more (improvement), but we're happy with her and she will go forward from Newbury."