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About Jim:

Jim Crowley began his flat racing career as an amateur before switching to National Hunt racing, where he landed approximately 300 winners. He then returned to the flat to ride for sister-in-law Amanda Perrett. After years of hard work, Jim was finally rewarded when we won the 2016 Stobart Flat Jockey Championship with an incredible 148 winners. That was followed by a lucrative retained partnership with leading owner Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, for whom he is the no.1 jockey. Now, the reigning Champion Jockey gives you an exclusive insight into all of his big rides for the 2017 season, courtesy of Coral.

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Crowley calls it: “I hope I’ve made the right choice on Eqtidaar.”

Coral ambassador talks Haydock rides

Saturday – Haydock

1.50 – Ben Vrackie

I start the day on Ben Vrackie, and I’m looking forward to riding him.  I used to ride his half-brother Berkshire, a very nice horse trained by Paul Cole who I won the Royal Lodge on.  By Frankel out of a Group One winner, Kinnaird, the whole family love soft ground so that will be no problem.

He bumped into a progressive filly of Andrew Balding’s at Goodwood last time, that was over this trip of 1 mile 6 furlongs so again no concerns about the distance, and I’m hopeful he’ll take all the beating here and get the day off to a winning start.

3.35 – Speedo Boy

I’ve not ridden Speedo Boy before, but he’s certainly an interesting runner here.  

He’s been consistent this summer, and got his win at Ascot in July before a third place in a good race at York last time. 

He does have form on softer ground, although his better runs have probably been on better going, but he’s towards the head of the betting for a reason and should give me a lovely ride.

One other to keep an eye on here is his stablemate Reshoun, who I’ve ridden before.  He may have a string of duck eggs by his name, but he loves the soft ground he’ll get here, and at the odds is worth a second look.

 4.15 – Eqtidaar

I had a really difficult choice to make in the big race, between Eqtidaar and Tasleet, and while I’ve gone for Eqtidaar, Tasleet is shorter in the betting, so I still don’t know if I’ve made the right move!  

My fella is the Group One winner, he won’t mind the cut in the ground, and I can forgive him his run in the July Cup as I didn’t feel he was in tip-top form that day, it may have come just a bit too soon after Royal Ascot for him.  

He’s working really well at home, like he was before the Ascot win, and he’s still relatively lightly-raced, so there could easily be more improvement to come.  

It’s also important for Sheikh Hamdan and the team to make stallions from these Group One winners, so hopefully he can step up to the plate once again.

There’s no question Tasleet does have a great chance, and even more so if it came up very soft.  Harry Angel beat him fair and square in the race last year, before he turned the tables on him at Ascot, and he’s always banging on the door in these big races.  

However he is five now, and so much more exposed than Eqtidaar, and that was another factor in my decision.  

I would forgive him his run at the Curragh in May, the ground was very quick that day, and on ground that will suit him here, I do just hope I’ve made the right choice!

4.50 – Encore D’Or

My final ride is Encore D’Or in the five furlong handicap. 

His best form has probably come on the all weather. But he has won on soft, and he’s a big, strong sprinting type that his trainer Robert Cowell does so well with.  

I’d respect the Michael Dods’ runner, Intense Romance, but if the race falls our way, he’d have a decent chance.

Jim