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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 think Tasleet is massively over-priced”

Our star Jockey previews Champions Day at Ascot

I’m thrilled with how things have gone this year. At the start of the season my agent, Tony Hind, and I agreed that we should look to ride quality not just quantity, and it’s worked.

I’ve picked up unbelievable spare rides this year and ridden Group 1 winners, so it couldn’t have gone better really.

I didn’t end up pushing for the Champion Jockey title. Given my new retainer to ride for Sheikh Hamdan it became clear during June-time that it would be very difficult to win the Jockey’s championship again.

So I had a chat with my agent at the end of June and we agreed that we wouldn’t be going for it, but I’m still very happy with how things have gone.

I’ve ridden 111 winners so far, and finished second in the title race to Silvestre De Sousa, and still had the odd Monday off, so it’s been a nice balance.  

I’m not ruling out giving the Jockey’s Championship another go next season. Considering how many winners I’ve ridden this season and I haven’t really pushed for it like I did last year, then it’s certainly not impossible to win it again.

Fair play to Silvestre, he deserves to be Champion Jockey this year. He’s a grafter and has worked unbelievably hard. You could see from the outset that he wanted to win his title back and he’s achieved that.

Jim’s Champions Day Ascot rides

1.25 QIPCO Long Distance Cup – Dartmouth

He’s a good horse. He won the Hardwicke last season beating Highland Reel and he doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground.

He disappointed last time out at The Curragh but I don’t think Sir Michael would have supplemented this horse for this race if he didn’t think it worth doing.

Big Orange wouldn’t want the ground too soft and nor would Stradivarius. Order of St George and Desert Skyline won’t mind the ground though.

I can see Duretto running a big race. I’ve ridden him and he’ll like the cut in the ground. It’s a decent race but I think my horse has a good chance.

2.00 QIPCO Champion Sprint Stakes – Tasleet

We have a chance of beating Harry Angel. There’s no such thing as a certainty as we saw with Expert Eye last week in the Dewhurst.

Harry Angel has been brilliant this season but I think Ascot will be harder to dominate.

He’s quite a keen horse and they go forward with him, but as you saw at Royal Ascot he got taken on for the lead and it set it up for Caravaggio.

Ascot is a very difficult track to make the running on. They tend to get racing a long way out and it lends itself to the hold-up horses.

On soft ground he won’t get an easy time of it and he could set it up for a horse to come late.

I think Tasleet is massively over-priced and he will love the soft ground. He got a bump in the Diamond Jubilee and was unlucky not to win that day. He ran a good race last time.

The softer the better for him and I think he’ll run a big race. He stays six furlongs extremely well so let’s hope the rain keeps coming.

3.15 QIPCO QEII Stakes – Beat The Bank

This horse has been outstanding this season. He’s gone from strength to strength. I won a listed race on him at Newmarket in July.

It was the Henry Cecil Stakes we won and that was a nice story as the guy that looks after Beat The Bank used to look after Frankel for Henry Cecil.

Beat The Bank is going the right way and was very impressive last time out. He has won on soft at Goodwood and won on Good to Soft at Newmarket in the Joel Stakes, so hopefully the ground won’t be a problem.

He will have to step up again to beat Churchill and Ribchester but he is the progressive horse in the race. I’m hoping that he can continue on the upward curve.

Here Comes When could run well if it came up very testing. I’m sure he’ll be a shorter price if the rain comes down hard.

I was offered the ride on both Here Comes When and Beat The Bank, and obviously it wasn’t an easy decision as I’ve won the Group 1 Sussex Stakes on Here Comes When, but I just felt that everything has to be in his favour in terms of ground whereas Beat The Bank looked the more progressive.

3.50 QIPCO Champion Stakes

I think Ulysses would have taken the beating had he lined up. Cracksman is a good horse but I think Ulysses would have had too much speed for him. Cracksman will be tough to beat now as he won’t mind the soft ground. Barney Roy on the other hand won’t want it too soft.

Brametot and Poet’s Word must have chances given the cut in the ground, whereas Highland Reel wants it quick.

I can’t really see Cracksman getting beat, but if there is a danger to him I think it will come from Poet’s Word or Brametot given the conditions.

4.30 Balmoral Handicap – Speculative Bid

I believe there’s been a lot of money for this horse and he appears to be well fancied.

He’s had the one run at Ascot this year and it looks as if he’s been prepped for this race, and he’s trained by an absolute genius in David Elsworth.

He’s got form on Good to Soft ground and has even won on Heavy, so I’m hoping he can have a decent crack at this. It’s a competitive race but I am hopeful of a good run.

Jim