Crowley Calls It: “He looks a progressive sprinter and my standout ride for the whole day”
The Champion Jockey previews his Saturday rides and takes an early look at Royal Ascot
It’s my first Royal Ascot with the Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum retainer but to be honest it’s just the same as always in the sense that I’m going there with plenty of rides, and horses with chances, but if someone at the start of the week offered you one winner you’d bite their hand off. Anything more than that is a bonus. I have plenty of chances, nothing rock-solid, but some second and third favourites and outsiders with a squeak, so I can’t ask for more than that.
Khairaat would have to have a good chance in the Wolferton Handicap. He is a nice type of horse who won at Chester last time. He’s gone up a lot in the weights but he’s a typical Sir Michael Stoute horse that’s improving and he has the right profile for the race.
I ride a nice two year old for Declan Carroll in the Norfolk called Santry. I really like him. He won the Brocklesby and then won under a penalty at York, and that race has worked out well. A few winners have come out of it so I think he’ll go there with a good chance.
I’m looking forward to riding Tasleet in the Golden Jubilee. I’m not worried at all about quick ground for him. Yes he won on good to soft in the Duke of York but we went into the race worried about that ground, and fast ground will be fine. I’m also hopeful of a decent run from Muthmir in the King’s Stand. He came third in it last year and it’s a hot race but he could run into a place again.
I’m on Nebo in the Coventry for Charlie Hills. He won his only start at Newbury, a race that has worked out well, and I’ve sat on him at home since and he’s a really nice horse.
Mutakayyef in the Queen Anne stakes has some really good form. In Dubai he was very fresh and the ground had gone the wrong way for him, and it was a mile and one furlong too, but he still ran well. Coming back to a mile and with fast ground, and with some really good bits of form to his name, he’d be a very lively each way chance.
I’m not sure which race Tamleek runs in but wherever he runs I do like this horse. There had been talk of him going to the Derby, and he then finished just a couple of lengths behind Wings of Eagles and Venice Beach which looks good form now. He’s a big horse which is why we missed Epsom as he wouldn’t have handled the track. Wherever he goes I’m looking forward to getting my leg across him.
In the Ascot Gold Cup I ride Harbour Law, winner of last year’s St Leger. He could run well at a big price. It would be no surprise to see him finish in the first four. He’s a St Leger winner and that race kind of fell into his lap a little as they went very fast and he outstayed the field. Connections weren’t 100% happy with him going into his last race so hopefully he’ll be in the form to run a big race. He was third in the Queens Vase, so any three year old that can stay two miles, is going to make a strong stayer. There are horses that get two miles, and then there are horses that can get two and a half miles ad he’d be one of those. It’s a hot race, no question, but he could run well at a big price.
He hasn’t run for a while. He is probably best over 6 furlongs and he hasn’t won since he won over that trip at York in July 2015. We are just trying to find a bit of form with this horse, so it’s a fact finding mission really.
The first time I rode him was at York last time when he had a really bad draw and the ground went too soft. He was really progressive last year. This time last year he was second in the Jersey Stakes behind Ribchester. Then he was found to have a fibrillating heart at Goodwood last August. I am forgiving him that last run on account of the soft ground and bad draw. This is a smaller field and I’d like to see the horse get back on track as he’s clearly got some serious ability.
I haven’t ridden him in his races but he won nicely last time. He met a bit of interference last time and still got up and won well. He looks a progressive sprinter. He’d be my standout ride for the whole day. These sprints are very competitive but he looks to have the right profile and Roger Varian’s horses are running really well. I’m looking forward to riding him.
I then drive down to Leicester from York where my first ride is on Sir Jack in the Claiming Stakes for Tony Carroll. He’s consistent and is a course and distance winner, and Tony doesn’t usually book me for horses that don’t have a chance so hopefully he’ll start the evening off with a winner.
I don’t know much about this horse but he’s owned by John Fretwell who was very good to me last year. He gave me a few winners, and I think he backed me to win the Jockey’s title. This horse has bits and bobs of form and is back down to a reasonable mark so hopefully he can run okay.
I haven’t sat on this horse at home. She’s owned by Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds and has a pedigree that says that she’ll get further in time, so she may be one to watch first time up.
He’s probably the pick of my evening rides. He just got touched off last time on the all-weather by one of Saeed Bin Suroors that made the running, and it was a real heads-up heads-down finish. He’s up 5lbs for that second but he’s put some good runs together. It’s a tight little race and I imagine Mr Tyrrell is probably the one to beat but hopefully Mulzim can get his head in front again.
He ran last week and wasn’t beaten far at Lingfield. He has bits and pieces of form but will need to step up a bit. He won last year at Chelmsford off 82 and is running off 71 here on turf so hopefully he can run well.
Charlie Hills tells me this should win. He’s dropping back in trip after being a bit keen last time. It doesn’t look a strong race, so hopefully Charlie is right.