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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: “He will go there with a favourite’s chance”

Champion Jockey Jim Crowley talks us through his Wednesday rides at Chester and reflects on his Guineas mounts

Eminent probably had a harder race in the Craven Stakes than we thought. He’s a big horse and it was the fastest Craven for fifty years, so it was a huge effort by Eminent to win the way he did. He went on the ground that day, but they say horses will always go on firm ground once, but are often not as effective on it second time, so that may have been a factor too.

They didn’t go a strong pace in the Guineas, but that wasn’t why he got beat. He was beaten fair and square on the day, but I believe the Craven just took more out of him than we expected. He was only beaten two lengths but he didn’t give me the same feel as he did in the Craven. When you are running slightly short of your best distance, especially on fast ground, it’s harder for horses as you are taking them out of their comfort zone. He hasn’t disgraced himself and he will be a fantastic ride in the Derby. Once he gets some good ground and is stepped up in trip, you will see Eminent in an even better light then.

EMINENT with J Crowley wins in Craven Stakes at Newmarket 20-4-17.

In my opinion, the trials are just too close to the Guineas, and you can see why Aidan O’Brien doesn’t run his best horses in them.

Talaayeb ran a fantastic race in the 1000 Guineas. They skipped the trials with her and she went straight to Newmarket and ran a super race on Sunday. There were no excuses, she ran really well. It rode like a really good Guineas, indeed both the 1000 and the 2000 rode like high class renewals. We are not quite sure where Talaayeb goes next, but we were very happy with her performance on just the second start of her life.

I had three seconds on 2000 Guineas day. I don’t think Next Stage quite stayed the trip, and One Foot In Heaven ran a good race in second behind Seventh Heaven. Nearly all my mounts ran well over the two days at Newmarket. It was disappointing not to get a winner, but the horses are all running well which is the most important thing.

Wednesday – Chester

3.35 Fun Mac

I ride Fun Mac for Hughie Morrison in the Chester Cup. He’s drawn out wide and is going to have to improve on what he’s done so far. Every time he’s run in these competitive handicaps, he’s found it a bit difficult. I’ve won on him on Good to Soft ground. I’m hoping he can run a good race, but it’s a really tough race and the draw is so important even over this longer trip.

No Heretic (Jamie Spencer) wins the Chester Cup Chester 4.5.16 Pic: Edward Whitaker

The Chester Cup is a race I love. I’ve won it twice and really enjoy riding in it. You need a horse that travels well. If you are off the bridle round there on a slow horse it’s not ideal. You want a horse to travel round there on the bridle and take you into the race. I don’t think any jockey really enjoys riding Chester. It’s very draw dependant and the best horse doesn’t always win. Because it’s such a tight track jockeys often go off really quick to try and get a position and if you don’t go quick then you aren’t going to win anything sitting out at the back, so it’s a challenging track.

4.05 Al Zaman

He’s only run the twice. He won his maiden at Wolverhampton beating a nice horse of Andrew Balding’s. He’s a good horse and they think a lot of him. He has a reasonable draw and hopefully he can run well.

4.35 Mutarabby

He ran a really nice race at Leicester last time out. It was really eye-catching. Saeed’s horses are in good form and he will go there with a favourite’s chance.

5.05 Dark Defender

I won on him at York last year. He’s a prominent racer which will suit him round Chester and he’s well drawn. He’s back down to a winning mark so hopefully he can put up a bold show.

Jim