Jim Crowley “It will be no surprise if Muntahaa beats Idaho”
2000 Guineas Review:
Elarqam ran a really good race. Of course we were disappointed that he didn’t win. I had great belief in the horse along with everybody else but at the same time I was very happy with how he ran. For a horse only having his third ever start it was a great effort. He just got a little outpaced and then got a little unbalanced as he went in to the dip. He then stayed on really well up the hill. He’ll improve massively for the experience and be a lot more streetwise next time. I think he will be the horse that will improve most out of the 2000 Guineas.
I have no doubt Elarqam will get further in time. I suspect his best trip will be around 10 furlongs. At this time of year he has a couple of options. He could go for the French Derby or he could stay at a mile for the Irish 2000 Guineas and step up in trip later in the season. The second half of the season opens up for him more over that distance with the Coral-Eclipse, the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes. There may not be a great rush to step him up in trip. The Irish 2000 Guineas and the St James Palace Stakes could be more immediate targets.
I was massively impressed with Saxon Warrior. The vibes coming out of Ballydoyle seemed to suggest he might not be quick enough for the 2000 Guineas. It just goes to show how good a horse he is. I think he’ll prove a very good 2000 Guineas winner. I am sure he’s going up in trip to the Derby so we won’t face him again for a while.
1000 Guineas Review:
It was incredible to see Billesdon Brook win the 1000 Guineas at 66/1, but there was no fluke about it. She won very well. Nobody saw it coming. It’s great for Richard Hannon. He’s a top man and it’s not the first time he’s caused a shock in a Guineas as he did it before when Night of Thunder won the 2000 Guineas at 40/1.
By Sunday the ground was very quick and a few fillies possibly didn’t act on it. It was a funny race, and may not have been the strongest 1000 Guineas, but you can’t take anything away from the winner as she was much the best on the day.
I watched the Kentucky Derby and to be honest I wasn’t at all surprised at what happened. It’s a different ball game out in America, and the Kentucky Derby is such a difficult race for European horses to compete in. It looked like Ballydoyle had the perfect horse to have a crack at it with Mendelssohn but it wasn’t to be. The weather conditions didn’t help at all, and he never got a fair crack as he was banged into as soon as he came out of the stalls. It’s a real shame, as obviously we’d hoped he’d run a big race. They’ll just have to keep battering away until they went.
Thursday – Chester
1.50 Chester – Sir Maximilian
He’s not a bad little horse. He’s drawn out wide a bit which is tough. Momentofmadness has the plum draw and will be hard to peg back being a front runner. My horse has won twice at Chester which is a positive and I’m sure he’s going to run a decent race.
3.00 Chester – Tadleel
Tadleel is a lovely horse. He won two nice races last season. This is his first run back and he is drawn out wide. I’m sure he’s going to come on a lot for this first run. Sometimes they can go too fast at Chester as everyone wants to go forward and get a position, and you can then win from off the pace. I won a Chester Cup from last place one year. So occasionally it can set up for a closer round there and that’s what we’ll be hoping.
3.35 Chester- Muntahaa
I’m really looking forward to riding him as he’s been working really well. He’s been gelded which will be a big help to him. He is a massive horse. On paper he’s rated 112 and Idaho is rated 119 so he appears to have a bit to find and Idaho is a very good horse. However my horse has won around Chester and has been working extremely well lately and I think we have a good chance. It will be no surprise if he turns Idaho over.
The gelding will help him as towards the end of last season his mind was on other things. On his last race at Newmarket he was walking around the paddock on five legs, and he ran no race. He’s a much happier horse now and working well. He used to be a very keen horse but he’s a lot more amenable now. He’ll run well and I think we’ll have a really good season with him this year.
Friday – Lingfield and Ascot
I could have gone to Chester but I really want to get a few winners on the board and I have nine nice rides at Lingfield and Ascot and want to bang a few winners in. I do enjoy having plenty of rides and I’m well used to it. Hopefully I can ride a few winners too!
I ride Jumira Bridge again in the 3.25 at Lingfield as he’s been turned out again quickly after he ran at Saturday at Newmarket. He’s a smashing horse and he ran okay on Saturday, the race just wasn’t run to suit him. I am sure he’ll run well. The fact Robert has got him out again quickly suggests he thinks he’ll go well.
Maghaweer in the 3.55 should go well. He won at the back end last year at Newmarket. I do like this horse. He hung across the track that day but still won with plenty in hand. Richard Hannon’s horses are in good order. He’ll probably go off nearly favourite.
I rode Jawwaal last time out at Newmarket where he ran a nice race. He will have improved for that run. This looks a really good opportunity in the 4.30 at Lingfield. He’s a decent horse.
Up at Ascot I ride Corgi. I was really keen to ride him again after coming second on him first time out this season to Young Rascal who has just won the Chester Vase. He’s a lovely big, strong horse by So You Think. This is definitely a horse worth following.