Crowley Calls It: “He’ll have a very good chance in this race”
Champion Jockey Jim Crowley previews his Saturday rides at Haydock and Doncaster exclusively for Coral
I’m now definitely riding Eminent in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. Sheikh Hamdan hasn’t anything to run in the race so that’s left the way clear for me to ride Eminent. If Zainhom had won the Greenham, or even run a big race, then he might have run at Newmarket but the way he ran it looks as if he’ll improve for a step up in trip, so will miss the Guineas. Then when the latest forfeit stage was published, there was nothing left of ours in the race, so I knew then that I was free to ride Eminent. I also think my filly in the 1000 Guineas, Talaayeb, has a really good chance as well, so I’m really looking forward to next weekend.
I was really pleased with Muntahaa last Saturday winning the John Porter. It was great to get his head in front. It’s a nice race to win and Sheikh Hamdan was there so it was a great day. Hopefully he’ll go to the Yorkshire Cup now.
In the 2.05 Haydock I ride Early Morning for Harry Dunlop. He’s a nice horse. He’s won first time up a couple of times, he’s won at Haydock, he’s won on Good to Firm and Harry’s horses are running well so hopefully he can run a good race.
I’m doing my lightest weight on Fawaareq in the 2.40. The top horse has stayed in which has kept all the weights down so I’m on 8 stone 8lbs. I’ll be living on fresh air between now and then pretty much. He’s a really nice horse, very progressive, and won his last three starts last year. It’s his first run of the year and his trainer Owen Burrows had his first winner of the season the other day at Yarmouth. He has a very low weight so hopefully he can run a very big race.
When I know I have to ride at my minimum weight for the three or four days leading up to it I will really cut back on what I eat. I won’t eat any carbohydrates, I’ll just eat small bits of protein, and I’ll also up my exercise too. On the morning of the race I will run around the track in a wet sauna suit and then take a pound or two off in the sauna. As long as I get a couple of days’ notice it’s fine. I don’t like to have to sweat too much to lose weight, I’d rather be able to chip away at it over a few days before the race, and that’s what I’ve been doing for Fawareeq. I wouldn’t fancy doing it day in, day out, as that would wreck your head but doing it on occasions with a bit of notice is okay.
I then ride Maghfoor in the 3.15 for Saeed Bin Suroor. He’ll have a very good chance in this race. He was second in a hot maiden at Chelmsford. He got beat by one of John Gosden’s. The third horse trained by Hugo Palmer is very smart, so hopefully my horse has come on for that first run and he’ll have a very good chance.
Then I drive up to Doncaster for the evening. Originally I was going to fly, but the plans fell apart so now we are driving. We’re okay for time, I just wouldn’t have minded stopping off for a cup of tea.
When I get to Doncaster I ride a newcomer of Roger Varian’s called Dahik. I’ve ridden him at home. He’s very professional in his work. They are all unraced, so it’s first day at school for everybody. He’s been pleasing at home, so hopefully he’ll go there and know his job.
I’m then on Mokhalad in the 6.00. I haven’t ridden him at home. He cost half a million as a yearling and has only run the once. He’s been gelded since then, so it’s a bit of a fact finding mission. We’ll know more about him after tomorrow.
Finally, I ride Fidaawy in the 6.35. I haven’t ridden him before. He’s got a hood on which suggests he might be a little bit hot. He looks like he has a fair bit of ability, so hopefully he can run a decent race. He’s rated 94 and is having his first run of the year, so we’ll see how he goes. He’s won at Doncaster before, so hopefully he can do the business. I’ve been lucky for Sir Michael Stoute. I’ve had a couple of nice Group winners for him. He’s fantastic to ride for and a genius of a trainer. He’s a master of his profession and I really enjoy going down and riding work there. He’s very easy-going to deal with.
I have a day off on Monday which I’m looking forward to and then later in the week we have some nice horses running at Ascot. All the good horses start coming out now with all the Classic trials.