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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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Jim Crowley: “He’s a really nice horse, very well-bred”

When I went into last weekend I looked at my rides and thought I had some good chances, and I actually thought I might have four winners. I rode the first two winners at Kempton, and it then felt like I had a free roll of the dice at Brighton. At that point I even thought I might end up with five or six, but it was really nice to get four winners on the board on the day. I was very pleased with that.

Riding winners breeds confidence, no doubt about it. Last year I was riding horses to win that shouldn’t really have won I was feeling so confident. An awful lot of it is in the mind. I’m definitely riding with plenty of confidence at the moment, and hopefully if the horses are good enough I’ll ride them to win.

Tuesday – Newmarket

The Craven is where it all starts. There are lots of nice horses running at Newmarket and I’m sure there will be a few bubbles burst along the way, but hopefully there will be a few nice surprises as well.

I ride Elyaasaat in the Wood Ditton at 1.50. He’s a really nice horse, very well-bred. They are all unraced three year olds in this race, and out of our three in the race he seems to be the pick. I’ve ridden him in his work and he goes nicely. I think he’ll get further in time. Hopefully he’ll run a big race. Sheikh Hamdan also owns Dawaaleeb and Buldan in the race and it’s difficult to choose which to ride when none of them have ever run. I’m pretty sure now and again the black hat is going to finish ahead of the blue and white striped hat. That’s just part and parcel of the game. As long as one of the boss’s horses wins then that’s the main thing. Hopefully it will be the one I’m on but we’re not going to get it right every time, especially when we have so many unraced three year olds as we do this season. I’ll usually have a chat with Angus or Richard in these situations. If Richard has ridden work on a horse and I haven’t then we’ll obviously discuss it. As it happens later on in the week Sheikh Hamdan has a quite a few horses that I’ll have to make a decision on which to ride both at Newmarket and then at Newbury, so hopefully I’ll get most of those right.

In the Alex Scott Maiden at 4.35 I’m riding Mukalal. I haven’t ridden this horse before but he ran very well at Newcastle last year behind one of John Gosden’s that they think a bit of. Everything in the race has run apart from the Charlie Hills trained horse, Afaak, that I could also have ridden. I believe he’s going nicely too at home but the choice was reasonably simple as Mukalal has had a run and has shown a decent level of form.

Jim