Crowley Calls It: “He has a favourite’s chance and is probably my best ride of the day”
The Champion Jockey talks through his weekend rides and reflects on Eminent’s run in the Derby
I thought Eminent ran a super race in the Derby. My ideal plan was to ride him handy but they went so fast that went out the window. The pace was so strong. When we jumped out straightaway we were in top gear. I didn’t want to be scrubbing his head off to hold a position up the hill, so I let him find his feet. He didn’t travel that well. Coming down the hill and round the bend he was off the bridle, but he got out in plenty of time and was then just not able to quicken. Then Ryan came down on my outside (on Cliffs of Moher) and he just rolled in on me a little bit which didn’t help. Both Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher both came from behind me, so they beat me fair and square. Unfortunately when they rolled into me I was quite tight for room and about 15 yards before the line Ryan knocked my stick out of my hand. It didn’t make any difference as by that stage I had run out of room anyway.
I’ve watched it back about twenty times and to be honest I don’t think we could have done anything differently. It’s a shame that he got leant on a little bit but it was only because he didn’t have the gears to go forward at that stage. I knew what was going to happen, as Aidan O’Brien’s horses were always going to try and stretch the field from halfway. If you’d been too handy you would have got sucked into that pace and you wouldn’t have got home. That’s shown by the fact that the winner and the second came from last and second last.
I enjoyed it but I was gutted afterwards. I honestly thought he would win. But the horse has run a super race and if you ran the race another ten times then he might finish third with a clear run but I don’t think he would beat the first two home.
On Sunday Muthmir ran a great race winning in France. He got squeezed as he left the stalls so I rode him for luck and it all opened up like the red sea and he ended up winning nicely. He finished third in last year’s Kings Stand so it’s nice to get him back in good form and he’ll go to Royal Ascot with an each way shout. It wasn’t the strongest race in France but he did it well and it’s good to go to Ascot with some confidence.
1.55 Newmarket – Faraasah
I can’t tell you too much about this horse as I haven’t ridden work on him. It’s his first start and I will find out what he’s like.
2.30 Newmarket – Thomas Cranmer
He won well last time up at Musselburgh and has gone up in the weights. He might not be able to dominate this field quite so much as he did last time but he still must have a good chance. I couldn’t do the weight on Ejaaby as he only has 8st 5lbs. He wasn’t quick enough over 6f last time so he will be better over this seven furlongs. He should have a good each way chance.
3.40 Newmarket – Jaameh
I haven’t ridden this horse before but I watched him win at Chester last time and he absolutely bolted in. He was held up that day and he literally looped them all on the home turn and he won really well. He’s going up a furlong in distance but he should stay well. He has a favourite’s chance and is probably my best ride of the day.
The July course at Newmarket is not dissimilar to the Rowley Mile course as there’s a dip in both tracks, and you always try and get your horse rolling ahead of the dip. It’s not so pronounced at the July Course, and horses don’t tend to get as unbalanced as they do at the Rowley Mile, but there’s probably a stiffer uphill finish. I like riding both tracks. They are very fair.
4.15 Newmarket – Luqyaa
This filly has a lovely pedigree. Her mother finished third in a Guineas. She had the one run last year and finished second. I haven’t ridden work on her. We just have so many horses spread around it’s impossible to get round and ride them all. She should hopefully run well. John Gosden has given her plenty of time and his horses are running really well.
4.50 Newmarket – Marqoom
He has a nice mark rated just 73 on his first start in a handicap. Hopefully handicaps are going to be his thing and he should run a nice race. I’ve ridden a few for Mark Johnston over the years. I rode a nice winner for him on Sofia’s Rock a couple of weeks ago, and my strike rate for him is quite good for MJ. He very much leaves the riding to you and he doesn’t speak too much to you before and after the race. You’d have to be from Mars not to know how he likes his horses ridden. They are tough, they are hard, and you need to make the most of their fitness and durability.
5.25 Newmarket – Mootaharer
He had a year off last year missing all of his three year old season. I rode work on him before his comeback ride, and then he went to Ascot where the ground would have been too quick for him. Any ease in the ground will help him. He’s a fine big horse and he hits the ground quite hard.
2.00 Goodwood – Lightening Dance
She was second on her first start. She ran a really nice intelligent race, and Amanda’s horses normally need a run first time out so that was a very encouraging performance. She hasn’t got far to travel. It’s just up the road. Hopefully she can go close.
2.30 Goodwood – Balancing Time
He was a bit unlucky there last time out. I just got carried out into the middle of the track and he was just a little fresh early on and took a strong hold. Hopefully that run will have just taken the freshness out of him. He’s a grand horse and I’m looking forward to riding him. He’ll have a good chance.
3.40 Goodwood – Paris Protocol
I rode him up at Haydock and he ran a great race. He stayed really well and was only just beaten by Yorkidding. That’s strong form, and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t win or go very close indeed. This horse will stay longer than the mother-in-law. It will be interesting to see how he gets on in this race as he could be one for the 2 mile 5 furlong race they have there at the Glorious meeting.
4.45 Goodwood – The Warrior
He has loads of ability. He is an ex-Aidan O’Brien horse with more seconds and thirds next to his name than he has ones. I have managed to win on him but it’s very tricky. He likes to come through horses, and he wears a hood and an eyeshield, he has everything on his head. He keeps his ability up his sleeve. He has loads of talent he just doesn’t really like to use it. He has run well at Goodwood before and he is one of those horses that you have to just ride him for luck. So I’ll drop him in, try and come through horses, and you almost have to try and get beat on him by running into the back of horses because as soon as he sees daylight he just loses interest. He’s a nightmare to ride as a jockey because all the punters call you names when you get beat on him, but if you try and give him a normal ride from A to B he just won’t go. He likes to be amongst the pack so you have to almost kid him over the line in front.