Jim Crowley “Mijjack can outrun his odds at Doncaster”
I’ve been based out in Dubai for most of the winter, with my family coming back and forth. It’s a great lifestyle, I can’t pretend otherwise. You only race three or four times a week. The racing is very competitive, the prize money is good and I also ride some Arabian horses which is different and I quite enjoy. The weather’s good, you have time to relax, and I’m playing plenty of golf. It doesn’t get any better really.
My golf is coming on slowly. Sometimes I’m really good and on other days I’m awful. Of all the guys I play most often I’d say Kieren Fallon is probably the best handicapped. He’s one of those who always seems to be ahead of the handicapper.
Dubai World Cup Night
Looking ahead to Dubai World Cup night, I have some really nice rides lined up.
I’ll ride Janoobi in the Dubai Turf for Mike de Kock and he should run a good race.
Ertijaal will run in the Al Quoz Sprint. He’s been brilliant this year but I’d prefer it if the race was 5 furlongs rather than 6 furlongs. That said he was third in the race last year on soft ground so he must have a good chance. He was beaten last time but I don’t think he was in tip top form so hopefully he’ll be fresher on World Cup night.
I have Muarrab in the Golden Shaheen who won the race two years ago. He’s coming back. Then I have Muntazah in the Godolphin Mile for Doug Watson.
I had to make a tough decision in the Arabian race, the Kahayla Classic. I had the option of riding a very good turf horse but he hasn’t acted on dirt. The other who wouldn’t be as classy has decent form on the dirt. So it wasn’t easy to decide but I’m going to ride Barnamaj who is proven on the dirt. It’s a great race with very good prize money.
1.50 Doncaster – Mijjack
He is a good little horse. He likes cut in the ground and won some nice horses last year. He’s very progressive. He won at Haydock and he also beat me at Doncaster last year, although his form tailed off a bit at the end of the season. Karl Burke is a brilliant trainer and it’s a nice ride to pick up. I think he can outrun his odds. He should go well.
2.25 Doncaster – Taqdeer
He hasn’t run for a very long time – 692 days. However he must be very well thought of, hence the fact that he’s stayed in training. He has some good form. On his last start when he won he beat Prize Money and some decent horses. I haven’t ridden him in work this year but I have heard that he’s been going okay. It will be interesting to see him back on the track.
3.00 Doncaster – Tabarrak
He’s a little dude this horse. I really like him. He won a Listed race at the back end of last season at Newbury. He’s tough, he’s hard, but he’s got a three pound penalty to carry for his win last year. He’ll run well. He’s against Zabeel Prince a nice horse of Roger Varian’s. On the ratings he’s a pound better off with Roger’s horse even with the penalty so hopefully we can go well.
3.35 Doncaster – Not So Sleepy
I won the Dee Stakes on this horse a few years ago. He likes soft ground and he stays a mile and a quarter, so the softer the better for him. He’s obviously going to be a big outsider but he has a bit of ability. The three market leaders are very nice horse. I rode Lord Glitters last year and I think he is potentially a Group horse but then he has got top weight. Fire Brigade is potentially a very well handicapped horse, as is Addeyyb. I’d be surprised if one of those three don’t win this to be honest. Hopefully my horse can run a nice race. He’s a big price.
The word on the street is that Elarqam has been going well. I’m looking forward to sitting on him. He’s going to go for a racecourse gallop in April somewhere before the Guineas. He’s been pleasing everyone at home and his form has worked out nicely. He’s got a lot to live up to, given his parents (Frankel – Attraction), but he was impressive last year and I can’t wait to ride him again.
The Season Ahead
I’m really glad to be back with the Turf season proper starting. All the good meetings start to come around quickly from now on. This is the time of year where a few bubbles are burst but nice horses also come through. The Craven is a meeting I love. We won the Craven last year on Eminent, so I have good memories of that. We have some lovely horses coming through this year.
I love the job riding for Sheikh Hamdan. We had a really good year last year. It was my first year in the job and I learned a lot from that. I’m now a lot more at ease in the role, I’m enjoying it, and I know the horses so much better. Last year I was riding them for the first time, whereas now I’ve got to know them all. I think we’re going to have a really good season.