Crowley Calls It: “I’m really looking forward to riding this horse”
Champion Jockey and Coral Racing Ambassador Jim Crowley previews his rides at Haydock and gives an update on Derby hopeful Eminent
I rode Eminent around Epsom racecourse at the “Breakfast with the Stars” event on Tuesday and I was really pleased with how he went. He’s never been away from Newmarket. He’s only had three races in his life and they’ve all been there. So he went to Epsom, stayed overnight, and he had a good look round, but I was really happy with the way he behaved. Some horses by Frankel can be quite ‘hot’ but he was so good. He actually gave his lead-horse a lead down to the start. He took it all in his stride.
The work we did, it wasn’t strong work but he still felt fantastic. He was really happy in himself, he moved well, and he really enjoyed the cut in the ground. He’s only run twice this year, and both times were on fast ground. When he won last year though it was good to soft and he absolutely loved it. It should be good ground on Derby Day which would be great, but if it came up any slower than good than that would be even better.
As I said, I was really pleased, he gave me a fantastic feel and I had a real job to pull him up again at the end of the work. I’m convinced now that the Guineas just came that bit too soon after his win in the Craven. But on the upside everyone always says that the best trial for the Derby is the Guineas, as we’ve seen with the likes of Sir Percy, Generous and many others who’ve run in the Guineas and gone on to win the Derby.
So the horse is in great form and my only worry is the fact that it might be a big field. I wouldn’t swap Eminent for any other horse and I’m not just saying that because he’s mine, I genuinely think he’s got a very good chance. I had my first ride in the Derby last year on Algometer who ran really well and finished sixth. I’ve been offered rides before over the years but they’ve always been big outsiders and I didn’t want to ride in the race just for the sake of riding in it. I’ve had seven or eight rides in the Oaks, and Epsom is a lucky track for me. I always seem to do well around there. It’s like an up-market version of Brighton. I enjoy riding there.
I’m riding Paris Protocol for Richard Hannon and his horses are absolutely flying at the moment. This horse ran well last time out at Salisbury over one mile and six. He ran a super race that day. He’s stepping up to two miles and it’s a competitive little race. Yorkidding ran very well in the Chester Cup, My Reward won last time out, Parliamentarian is a good horse, so it’s a tight little race, but hopefully my horse will do himself justice.
It was a really tough decision to choose between Mustarrid and Rusumaat. It was nearly a flick of a coin job. Mustarrid is running really well. I won on him at Chelmsford and then he just got touched off last time by City of Joy, a very well thought of horse of Sir Michael Stoute’s. He has a nice draw and should run really well. But you can say the same about Rusumaat. He bumped into a very well handicapped, unexposed horse last time out at Ascot. I’m sure he will run a big race as well. It would not be a big shock if the black hat finished in front of the striped hat.
I’m looking forward to riding him. I’ve never sat on him before but I’ve gone through his form and watched all his races. He looks as if he’s best over five furlongs and he has some really smart pieces of form. He’s beaten some good horses, including Profitable. Hopefully he’ll run a decent race. He’s drawn in stall 11 and we’re next to Quiet Reflection and Cotai Glory. I think he’ll run really well. He finished third in this race last year before coming fifth in the King’s Stand. He was winner-less last year but hopefully he can get his head back in front. He was gelded too and sometimes that takes a while to get over. John Gosden’s yard is flying too so that’s great.
I haven’t ridden this filly before but she’s got some really smart form. She won the Harry Rosebery up at Ayr, and then she was second at Newmarket to Miss Danvers in the Cornwallis. She ran a very creditable race last time at Maisons Laffitte when she was fourth in a Group Three. Her best form is with a bit of cut in the ground but she’s going up to six furlongs and I think that will suit. Keith Dalgleish was a really good jockey and is a good friend of mine so I’d love to bang in a winner for him. He’s absolutely flying as a trainer. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s always been a supporter of mine and books me whenever I’ve been available. It’s great to see him doing so well as a trainer, as he was a fabulous jockey, it was just a shame he got a bit too heavy really.
I’m really looking forward to riding this horse. He ran in the Lingfield Derby Trial last time out and he went off very fast that day and was never going to get home. He looks like a really nice horse and was very impressive the time before at Leicester when Ryan Moore won on him. It’s a tough race as Face The Facts is a nice horse as is Janszoon, but hopefully with a less forceful ride my horse will run a big race.
I love the hot weather. It’s great for your weight, as it helps you lose a few pounds. It feels like flat racing has finally arrived; we are getting proper fast ground, the sun’s out. Goodwood on Thursday was what Flat racing is all about. It was absolutely buzzing there in the sunshine. Then Sandown in the evening was terrific too. Algometer ran a really good race in the Brigadier Gerrard which bodes well for the rest of the season as ten furlongs would be a bit short for him. He’s an exciting horse and I’m looking forward to riding him again.
Check out Jim’s other blogs in his exclusive archive.