Crystal Pearl can get off the mark for Charles Byrnes

Crystal Pearl should be capable of giving Charles Byrnes his first success of 2015 in the opener on Cork’s Red FM Student Race Day at Cork racecourse in Mallow today.

This Beat Hollow filly, a winner on the flat for Mark Tompkins in England, has filled the runner-up berth in two of her three starts since joining Byrnes and is expected to bounce back from a disappointing run in Navan last time.

Second to Vercingetorix on her hurdling bow at Limerick over Christmas, Crystal Pearl then started favourite for a mares maiden at Leopardstown and failed to cope with Golan Road, with subsequent winner Bonny Kate back in sixth spot.

Last time, the selection looked green when making the running in a maiden in Navan and faded to finish a well-beaten fourth behind Sam Red.

A four-year-old filly receiving weight from her main rivals, Crystal Pearl should be capable of opening her account at this level, in the CIT Horse Racing Maiden Hurdle, when dangers will include Piton, a dual-winner on the flat for Mark Johnston and making his Irish debut for Eugene O’Sullivan.

Disqualified, on technical grounds, at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Sadler’s Risk will be expected to make amends by beating just two rivals in the CIT Rag Week Hurdle.

Formerly with Mark Johnston and Philip Hobbs, this seven-year-old won a novice chase in Roscommon last May and was beaten by Perfect Gentleman in a similar event on today’s track in November.

Last time, he battled well to beat He’llberemembered and Daneking in a conditions hurdle at Punchestown, before being disqualified, having weighed in and out 4lb light.

Rated 7lb. superior to his main rival, the Willie Mullins-trained Aklan, a big disappointment behind Ttebbob at Clonmel last time, Sadler’s Risk should prove tough to beat in the circumstances.

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