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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 love Thundering Blue, he has loads of ability”

Champion jockey gives his weekend preview

Winning the Tattersalls Stakes on Elarqam on Thursday was brilliant. It was important that he won given his breeding and the high esteem in which we hold him.

I would imagine that will be the end for him this year, and he’s one to look forward to for next season. I think he could be a nice horse for the Guineas next year and then he might stay a bit further.

JIM’S SATURDAY RIDES AT NEWMARKET

2.20 – Crossing The Line

It’s always nice to pick up a ride in a Group 1. I haven’t ridden this filly before.

It’s obviously a good race and she’s an outsider but hopefully she can outrun her odds.

She was sixth in a Group 3 at Salisbury last time so she will need to step up on that.

2.55 – Unfortunately

It’s great to get the call to ride this colt. He was impressive when he won last time in the Prix Mornay and he’s a strong traveller in his races.

It’s a tough race mind with the likes of Sioux Nation and Sands of Mali in there, but I think my horse has a great chance.

There are no great secrets to riding the Rowley Mile, but you do have to have a well-balanced horse as when they quicken into the dip, they need to be able to stay balanced at that point in the race.

On some horses if you get after them too quickly they can become unbalanced and that’s effectively race-over. It is not unhelpful that I’ll have ridden up the track in the Cheveley Park the race before.

3.35 – Thundering Blue

The starvation diet is coming along slowly. 8 stone 7 lbs is my rock bottom minimum weight now. The last time I did that weight in the Cambridgeshire, it was on Credit Swap, and we won. So hopefully we can get the same outcome.

The weight should be okay and my horse has a great chance. I love the horse, he has loads of ability and he won’t mind any ease in the ground.

He’s drawn in 20 so we’re not hemmed in on the fence or anything like that. He won’t want to hit the front too soon, as you saw at Sandown, but he should give me a great spin.

Like all the big handicaps, the Cambridgeshire is a great race to win.

As a jockey you want to win Group One races, but you also want to win races like the Ebor, and the Cesarewitch and the Cambridgeshire, and they are harder to win as well. It is what it is; a big field, a competitive race, and we’ll need a slice of luck.

4.10 – Umaimah

I haven’t ridden this filly before and it’s her first time out. She has a lovely pedigree but being by Speightstown I’m not she’d want the ground too soft. I’m hoping she’ll run a nice race and enjoy the experience.

5.20 – Theodorico

I don’t know much about the horse, but he’s been in good heart and is a seven furlong specialist, so must have a shot on his best form.

JIM’S SUNDAY RIDES AT CHANTILLY

I’m travelling over to Chantilly on Sunday morning from Newmarket. My plan is to get there nice and early so I can have a god walk on the track.

3.05 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Ulysses

My first ride is in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Ulysses. We are drawn in stall one and Enable is drawn in stall two.

I’m glad I’m drawn close to Enable as hopefully we can just follow her. But listen with 18 runners, when you’re drawn on the inside, you are going to need an element of luck, and it’s the Arc so you’re not going to get any favours.

There’s no point worrying about it. What will-be will-be, but I have confidence in my horse, I know he’ll travel for me, and when the gaps come hopefully we’ll be able to take them.

It’s my first ride in the Arc so of course I’m excited about it. There’s no question I’m really looking forward to it.

But the way I approach it is that it’s just a big job, and I need to go there and get the job done. So whilst I’m looking forward to it, I’m going to be in the zone and hopefully things go right.

Ulysses has been sold to stud now so he will probably only have a couple more runs, so I’m just going to enjoy riding him, and it would be incredible for connections if we can win the Arc. For me the Arc is the Holy Grail.

If I could only win one race in the world it would be the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, so let’s hope we can do it.

4.35 – Battaash

I then ride Battaash in the Prix de l’Abbaye. He disappointed last time when he got really angry down at the start. Craig Witherford, the stalls’ guy, is coming over from England to help look after him.

The stall-handlers in France aren’t quite as sympathetic as they are in the UK, they can be a bit rough, so hopefully Battaash behaves himself.

He won’t mind a bit of cut in the ground and I’m really looking forward to riding him. But it just depends on which side of bet he gets out of in the morning. 

He’s a forward runner, and I think Chantilly tends to favour hold up runners on the Sprint course because it’s the second winning post and some horses tend to get racing too soon.

Hopefully my horse will have the class to win this and he’s beaten Marsha well once before. If he can show us what he showed us at Goodwood, he should win.

Jim