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By Graham Potter | Saturday, March 11, 2023

The two-year-old filly Crimson Warning gave jockey Mark Du Plessis the first leg of a Metropolitan riding double at Eagle Farm on March 11 when she proved too strong for her rivals in a QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1300m.

The Rex Lipp and Nick Beck trained daughter of Defcon had raced on two previous occasions, finishing fifth on debut over 1000m at Toowoomba a month prior to this run ... and then second over 1350m at Doomben on February 25.

That runner-up finish, while a progressive result on paper, did come with a beaten margin of 4.20 lengths, a factor which possibly played a part in punters being lukewarm in their approach towards the Lipp / Beck trained runner who was allowed to start a the juicy odds of $15.

There was another factor influencing the betting market with the visiting, Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou trained Mr Caleb holding a position as a strong favourite at $2.05.

Sadly, for his followrs, Mr Caleb was never seen in the race with a chance, being too far back early on and then being baulked at a vital stage in the straight when being ridden for luck down the inside rail.

For Crimson Warning though, the race and the result rubber-stamped the fast-moving rise in trajectory of her formline.

Her third run in twenty-nine days saw her strip her fittest yet, and Crimson Warning put that enhanced battle-hardness to good use under Du Plessis’s astute guidance.

Crimson Warning jumped well before temporarily settling into second place ... then third place ... then fourth place ... with Du Plessis being patient in the saddle while at the same time ensuring that Crimson Warning never raced more than just over two lengths off the leader, Mishani Mystique ($26).

Cornering three wide, now in a close-up fourth place and perfectly poised to strike on straightening, Du Plessis still waited in the first half of the straight.

It was only when Mishani Ambitious ranged up along his outside, running on strongly from last place and threatening to go past everyone, that Du Plessis got busy ... and, what he had kept in reserve Crimson Warning was happy to offer ... and now the race was well and truly on.

With a little over 200m left to run, Crimson Warning was fighting on two fronts. She still had to get to the early leaders Mishani Mystique and Capital Cee ($6.50) and she had to work at repelling Mishani Ambitious.

Mishani Ambitious almost got right alongside Crimson Warning, but the latter was now raising the stakes. At almost the same time that Mishani Ambitious peaked on his run, Crimson Warning, now in full cry, went past the leaders, striking the front full of running, ultimately putting 1.20 lengths between herself and Mishani Ambitious, who had stayed on well enough to earn second place, at the line.

Taking QTIS bonus’ into account, this win, in just her third start, took Crimson Warning’s prize-money haul to an impressive $113 240.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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