Crowley Calls It: “He’s probably the nearest thing to Frankel you will see”
Jim Crowley runs us through his thoughts on Thursday at York
2.55 York – Smart Call
Smart Call is a very good filly. She won the J & B Met in South Africa which is a prestigious Group One race. I think Sir Michael quite likes her. It’s a good race. There’s a Breeders Cup winner in there in Queen’s Trust and So Mi Dar is a classy filly too. Smart Call won’t have run on soft ground before. You don’t get much soft ground in South Africa. I hope it doesn’t get too soft for her. She’s actually the highest rated filly in the race on official ratings. It’s a great ride to pick up. I’m really excited about riding her.
3.30 York – Swiss Storm
This looks a really good Dante. Cracksman looks decent and everybody has been raving about Crystal Ocean but my horse Swiss Storm is an exciting horse. I rode him on both his starts last year. He’s the most gorgeous looking horse you’ll ever see. In fact in terms of looks he’s probably the nearest thing to Frankel you will see. He’s an absolute stunner. He won on good to soft ground at Newbury last year so I don’t think he’ll mind a bit of cut. He’s drawn out wide, ten of eleven, but I’m not too worried about that. He’s a bit of a keen going sort but I am just really looking forward to riding him. His trainer David Elsworth is just brilliant. He’s a master trainer.
Nothing has really grabbed me watching the various Derby trials so far. I thought Best Solution looked a good, solid horse winning the Lingfield Derby Trial. He looked really well balanced and I think it would be no surprise to see him run well at Epsom. I could see him being placed. I thought the Chester trials were all much of a muchness. I finished fourth in the Chester Vase on Tamleek behind Venice Beach, and I think there will be a lot of improvement to come from the winner. He was very babyish all the way round, on and of the bridle, so I’d expect him to come on a fair bit for that experience. From what I’ve seen so far there is nothing in the field to be too frightened of. But then everybody said that last year and Harzand came along and won at Epsom and then won the Irish Derby. You don’t really get a bad Derby, put it that way. I think this Dante could throw up a serious contender.
4.05 York – Thikriyaat
Thikriyaat was really progressive last year. He only had one bad run at Goodwood, and it was discovered that he has a fibrillating heart that day. Up until then he’d looked a serious horse. He’s won on Good to Firm and on Good to Soft so is very versatile. It’s his first run back and I’m drawn out wide on him but that hopefully won’t be too much of a problem. He’s the class horse in the race, and I’m hopeful that he can pick up the winning thread again.
5.05 York – Makanah
I had the choice between Makanah and Taifbalady for the boss. I haven’t ridden either of them and it’s never easy to choose when we have two or three in a maiden. I’m going to get it wrong from time to time. Makanah is by Mayson and is bred to be pretty quick. If the ground is soft that shouldn’t be a problem as Mayson’s tend to act with a bit of cut. From what I hear he’s been pleasing at home. I believe he’s quite nice.
On Friday I’m really looking forward to riding Muntahaa in the Yorkshire Cup. Last year he was quite keen in the St Leger over the same trip and didn’t get home but, touch wood, on both starts i’ve ridden him this year he’s been good. I got racing far too early on him at Doncaster on his first appearance this term but the form of that race has been franked since. He’s then won nicely since then at Newbury. He must have a great chance. Hopefully there will be a nice bit of pace to aim at. We’ll find out on Friday what route to take with him, whether he’s a Cup horse or not.