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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: “It will be no surprise if she wins this race”

The red hot Champion Jockey previews his Saturday rides at Ascot and Salisbury

It’s been a brilliant few days with three winners on Wednesday and then four on Thursday. It was back to what it was like last season. I think when you get on a good run things just seem to happen, so hopefully it will continue. It’s always a positive feeling when you ride three or four winners in a day, though you always still think about the ones you feel you should have won on. Let’s hope we can keep it going and bang a load more winners in.

KING GEORGE

I’m really looking forward to riding Ulysses again in the King George. It is a very good race, and probably even tougher than the Coral-Eclipse having to give so much weight away to the filly, Enable. She has been very impressive to date and won’t mind any cut in the ground.

Jack Hobbs is an Irish Derby winner and a Sheema Classic winner and he loves soft ground, and you also have one of the toughest horses in training, if not the toughest, in Highland Reel. It’s a very deep race, even Idaho and Benbatl are good horses.

Ulysses has won over a mile and a half, but he probably doesn’t want the ground too soft. He’s a nice moving horse and I think he’s probably better on a sound surface. He has won on Good to Soft but he’s arguably better on a faster surface so we don’t want any more rain.

It’s my third time riding him and I know what I want to do with him tactically. He seems to run best when he’s ridden a bit cold, and then just try and creep into the race quietly. You wouldn’t want to get into a battle two furlongs from home, especially going a mile and a half, so it’s a case of nursing him round and then see where we are. I’ll want to keep him travelling for as long as I can.

The King George is right up there with the greatest flat races. It’s one of the big ones so would be great to win it. I was fourth in the King George two years ago on Madame Chiang and have had a few spins in it.

OTHER ASCOT RIDES

1.50 Mistress of Venice

I think she has a very good chance. She ran well at Royal Ascot given she was drawn on the stands side which was the wrong side. She then went to Newmarket and she showed a bit too much pace that day and the ground was too fast for her. Now coming back to Ascot, I will look to hold on to her a bit longer, and on this ground, I think she has a really good chance. It will be no surprise if she wins this race.

2.25 Mustarrid

He’s been running alright this season. He was a good second up at Doncaster last time. It was soft at Doncaster so he’s not going to mind a bit of juice in the ground. He’s tough and consistent, and he has a big weight pull with Century Dream who beat him last time. I think he has a good chance.  The other Sheikh Hamdan horse in the race is Alwahsh but he only carries 8 stone 3 pounds and I would have had to chop both my legs off to do that weight, so I didn’t have to choose between them.

3.00 Fawaareq

I learned a bit more about him last time when he was beaten by Parfait at Newmarket, and that was a good race that day. I thought he ran really well and has put a couple of nice races together. He’s won on soft ground. I’m doing my minimum weight on him so hopefully he can run a nice race. It’s a competitive handicap but he should be there or thereabouts.

4.10 Raydiance

I don’t know much about this horse. He won at Haydock last time on his second start. It’s a case of the softer the better for him. He’s by Mayson who won the July Cup on very testing ground.  I know Karl Burke quite likes him. I’ve had a look at his form and it’s working out well. The second from Haydock has come out and won since.

SALISBURY

6.15 Pride of Angels

I don’t know much about her. It’s her handicap debut. I don’t ride that much for Gary Moore but when I do they usually have a good chance.

6.45 Manthoor

He made a nice start at Nottingham but it will be different ground this time. I didn’t ride him that day. It will be interesting to see how he runs. His homework has been okay so we’re hopeful of a nice run.

7.45 The Salmon Man

He likes a bit of cut in the ground. I rode him a couple of times last summer at Epsom and finished second on him but he hasn’t won a race yet. He’s been placed a few times. It would be nice to get his head in front. Brendan is a good guy. I remember riding for him over jumps so we go back a long way.

8.15 Saluti

He won on good to soft ground at Newmarket two starts ago in a nice race. He looked a really nice horse, I rode in the same race that day. He then ran at Ascot and was badly hampered so hopefully with a clear run he can go well. He’s proved he can handle the ground and Amanda’s horses are in good form.

SUNDAY

Then on Sunday I’m off to Newbury where it’s the Shadwell Arabian Day. I have a full book of rides. I’ve heard it’s a great day. I’ve never been before, but it’s free entry to anyone who wants to go. It’s something different and I’m looking forward to going, I have a couple of nice horses to ride that have come over from France. It would be nice to get a few winners on the board.

Jim