Crowley Calls It: “He could be hard to peg back on this fast ground”
The Champion Jockey previews his rides on day three of Royal Ascot
He’s a horse who has been impressive so far in his career. He won under a penalty last time. The only thing I am really concerned about is the fast ground. He has never encountered that before but we will find out tomorrow how he handles it. There is no question about his ability though.
I like this horse. He ran in the Chester Vase where he came home behind Wings Of Eagles who has obviously since won the Derby. Chester would not be his track but at Ascot he has a nice draw and conditions should suit him. He is coming back down in trip. He won over 10 furlongs at Newmarket and with Ascot being the fast galloping track it is, the distance won’t be a problem. He definitely has a solid chance.
I’ve never ridden this filly before. She won the Lingfield Oaks Trial but then bypassed Epsom. They must think she has a good chance in this. It is an open contest but it is a great ride to pick up as a spare.
All he seems to do is stay and that is what won him the St Leger as they went very fast on the day. This horse finished second in the Queen’s Vase last year as a three year old which takes some doing. The two and a half miles won’t be a problem for him. He is fit and well and I can see him running a big race. With the greatest respect to Laura Mongan, if Aidan O’Brien had him he would be a lot shorter in the betting. Order Of St George is clearly the horse to bear, however, everybody thought Churchill was a certainty earlier in the week and he got turned over. It is hot here and these horses can boil over. If I could pick one race to win all week, this would be it. I was beaten by a head in the race in 2014 on a horse called Missunited when Leading Light came out on top. It won everywhere bar the post. I love riding in this race.
This horse has a great chance as we believe he is well handicapped. It was a tough decision as I also had the option to ride Rusumaat who had been dropped two pounds by the handicapper to get in the race. I just feel Afaak is on the way up and is very progressive. I’ve been down to the yard to ride him and I think he has the perfect profile for this contest. I am hoping I am on the right one. Charlie Hills’ horses are running really well. This horse wants fast ground and he will get that.
This is a big strong horse. He took off in the Lingfield Derby Trial earlier in the season. I then rode him at Haydock where he came out on top. He will probably make the running here. He loves fast ground and stays very well. He could be hard to peg back on this fast ground. Mark Johnston’s horses keep progressing so this should be the right race for him.