Crowley calls it: “It will be a dream if Elarqam can win the Guineas”
Top jockey looks ahead to Newmarket
I am really looking forward to Guineas weekend. We’ve banged in a few winners this week so I’m going into the weekend with lots of confidence.
Hopefully we’ll have a good meeting. I have nine good rides this weekend over the two days, with Elarqam the stand-out in the 2000 Guineas, but also a nice spare to pick up on Vitamin in Sunday’s 1000 Guineas. All in all a really good way to start the flat season proper.
Saturday – Newmarket
This Palace House stakes has cut up a little bit. Jumira Bridge is a good horse. I rode him last time when he was second at Kempton and he ran a really nice race.
I’m sure he will run a good race. We have Havana Grey to beat. I’m drawn next to Havana Grey him so I should be able to get a good toe into the race as he likes to go forward and it should set up well for my horse.
I’m really looking forward to riding Elarqam. He is in such good order and has a nice draw. It’s a strong race as you’d expect but can’t wait to ride my horse.
He did a good piece of work on the track at the Craven meeting. It’s now a case of fingers crossed. He’s a typical Mark Johnston horse as he likes to go forward and race prominently. It will be a dream if we can win.
The stalls will be stand side and there’s a false straight two furlongs out which gives everyone a fair chance.
There are a couple of horses that look like they’ll make the running but my horse is very uncomplicated. He can lead, he can take a lead, but I expect he’ll be fairly prominent.
I’ll approach it just as I do all races. I’ve studied the form and looked at the opposition and had a think about how to ride the race.
I have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C to cover various scenarios. Hopefully everything will go to plan.
It would be very special to win my first Classic in the 2000 Guineas, and especially on this exciting horse.
He’s in great order. I sat on him the other morning at Richard Hannon’s. It’s his first run back but he is fit and he’s well.
He was very progressive at the back end of last season running second twice and then winning his last two starts. He’s a lovely big horse and I think he will run really well.
He’s got decent form. It’s the first time I’ve sat on him. It’s a tidy race with some decent horses in there. I know Brian Meehan thinks quite a lot of this horse.
His horses are running really well. I rode a big price winner for Brian Meehan at Newbury two weeks ago.
He was fourth in the Autumn Stakes so he already has Group race form. He can hopefully go well.
Sunday – Newmarket
1.50 – Reshoun
He finished up last year winning the November Handicap. He’s a smashing horse and likes a bit of cut in the ground. He will go on good ground but likes it a bit softer.
I think he’ll have a reasonable chance. He’s owned by a good friend Michael Watt and I’m really looking forward to riding him again.
2.55 – Ekhtiyaar
I really like this horse’s chance. He ran a good race first time out when 5th during the Craven meeting and he will have improved a good deal for it.
He’s a big strong horse and I’d like to think he can make up into a Group horse. Hopefully this is just a stepping stone to that.
Tactically he’s very straightforward. He just likes to be handy with a bit of cover.
The ground should be absolutely perfect for him. It’s a good quality handicap but if my horse is as good as we think he is then he should be up to winning this.
3.35 – Vitamin
This is a cracking ride to pick up in a Classic. She’s by Camelot who’s doing very well as a sire. She’s only had the two starts and beat Soliloquy on the second, but hasn’t been since.
Soliloquy has obviously gone on to win the Nell Gwyn a couple of weeks ago and is second favourite for the race and my filly is 33/1.
Her trainer Richard Hannon wouldn’t be running her in this race unless he thought she was ready for it. It’s a very open Guineas and she could be a surprise package.
I don’t think it’s the strongest Guineas if I’m honest. I think Richard’s other filly Anna Nerium could run a big race too.
4.10 – Fanaar
I haven’t sat on him but the word on the street is that he’s going very well. So I’m really looking forward to riding him. He is well thought of and whatever he does here he is going to be a nice horse for the season and is worth following.
5.20 – Kitaabaat
I like this horse a lot. He has been working nicely at home. He won on his last start last season and Owen Burrows is in good form.
He had a nice winner at the Craven meeting with a three year old so he will have a line on how the three year olds are.
Kitaabat beat Sevenna Star, a very nice horse of John Gosden’s and his form is all working out well. I’m very hopeful of a good run.