Jim Crowley: “She’ll have a very good chance tomorrow”
The reigning Champion Jockey talks us through his rides on Day Three of the Craven Meeting at HQ
The last couple of days at Newmarket have gone okay. I rode a nice horse yesterday in Rodaini who was second in the Free Handicap. A few of my mounts have run well without winning and in all honesty I didn’t have a strong book of rides over the first two days. I was a bit disappointed with the Frankel-horse, Elyaasaat, in the Wood Ditton. But then there are always going to be a few bubbles popped at this time of year.
I love Newmarket. The only slight downside is that the ground has been very fast; really quick. And to be honest you either handle it or you don’t, there isn’t really any in-between for a horse. When the ground rides quick on this track you tend to get a lot of horses getting unbalanced going into the dip. It will obviously be quick ground again today. It’s kind of what you expect but if you have a genuinely good ground horse it might be plenty quick enough even for them.
I was very impressed with Daban yesterday in the Nell Gwyn. She won snuggly in the end. The handicapper clearly got her wrong. She looks a nice filly and there should be plenty of improvement to come from her as well.
In the first today at 1.50 I ride Akhlaaq. He’s a nice horse. He won first time out at Salisbury on good to firm ground and then ran up at Doncaster when it was good to soft ground and he didn’t go on it that day. We are hopeful he can run a good race. Victory Angel would probably be the one to beat in the race for Roger Varian. I’m looking forward to riding my horse.
In the second race (2.25) I ride Tabarrak for Richard Hannon and he must have a great chance. He won at Ascot last year. He’s a horse that won’t mind the fast ground. He’s won on good to firm. We have Salateen to beat. I won on Salateen for David O’Meara out in the Carnival, and he only ran the other day on All Weather Finals Day where he ran a good race. I’d like to think that my horse would be a bit more progressive than Salateen.
In the 3.00, the Abernant Stakes, I’m on another horse for the boss, Tasleet, this time trained by William Haggas. I’ve never ridden this horse before. This is his first start of the season but he won the Greenham this time last year when it was run on the all-weather. Then he only ran once after that at the back-end of the season in the Dubai Challenge Stakes. He was a little bit disappointing that day. He’s obviously had plenty of time off but this looks a good starting point for him so hopefully he can run a good race. He’s a classy horse and has won over seven furlongs so we’ll see where we are with him today. Brando will be the one to beat.
In the Craven Stakes I ride Eminent for Martyn Meade. I really liked this horse when I won on him last year. I think there is a possibility that he will want further, I think he could be a ten furlong horse. It’s a good little race though. Aidan O’Brien will get a very good marker for all his horses by running War Decree. He’s probably not running his best horses in the trials, and this horse will give Ballydoyle a really good handle on what they’ve got back at home for the Classics. War Decree will love the fast ground, being by War Front. There were two War Front sired winners yesterday. Rivet goes there and brings a strong level of form and the Godolphin horse, Benbatl, looks like a decent horse but he’ll be encountering very different ground to Doncaster where he won last time. It was good to soft up there and it will be pretty much good to firm today at Newmarket.
I then ride Manaahil for Charlie Hills in the Maiden Fillies race at 4.10. She’s a nicely bred filly who finished second first time up at Kempton. She was very green and inexperienced as you’d expect given it was her first start. I’d like to think she’ll come forward from that, and she should like the quicker ground as she’s by Dubawi. She’ll have a very good chance tomorrow.
In the Maiden Stakes at 4.45 I’m on Tamleek for Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor. Sheikh Hamdan is also an integral part of the Godolphin operation as well and he has an interest in this horse hence why I’m riding him. He only had the one run at Yarmouth and he ran a really encouraging race. I’ve ridden him in work and I like him. Charlie Appleby’s horse, Hold Sway, looks the one to beat but it’s a good race. You don’t get any pushovers at Newmarket. There are a lot of nice horses running here. From what I’ve seen of my horse in his work he seems a good horse so hopefully he can run a nice race.
Then in the last at 5.20 I ride Munawer. It’s great to ride for Hugo again. I rode a lot for him last year and had plenty of success. Munawer is the Al Shaqab second-string. He’s done nothing wrong. He’s run two nice races last term but clearly Frankie has chosen to ride Shamrokh instead. Hopefully he’s picked the wrong one.
It’s great to have a full book of seven rides today. I’m really looking forward to it. Talaayeb is working before racing too, and then I have some gallopers after racing too. I’ve got a very busy day but that’s what I thrive on. I keep myself very fit and do a lot of running. At the beginning of last year I was training like a proper athlete, and got myself into really good shape, so when I have ten or even twelve rides in a day, my body can take it. Seven rides in a day is a piece of cake.