Jim Crowley
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Crowley Calls It: “I’m hopeful of a very big run from Najashee”

| 01.09.2017

The Champion Jockey runs us through his 10 rides this Saturday


1.50 Shamshon

Shamshon won at Newmarket but has been a bit disappointing since. He missed the kick at Ascot and then they went very fast at York and they took him off his feet a bit.

He ran well in this race last year and has a chance. He’s reasonably well drawn in stall four but he will need things to fall his way.

He doesn’t have bags of early speed, and being drawn on the rail at Sandown means he’s going to have to get a bit of luck.

2.25 Vintager

I rode in the maiden that he won at Newmarket and it was a good maiden. He’s well thought of by connections and I think he will have a really good chance. I know his trainer is quite sweet on him.

3.00 Dancing Breeze

She’s one of three that John Gosden has in the race. Dancing Breece was placed in two listed races recently and will have to step up on what she has done so far. But that’s quite possible.

3.35 Thundering Blue

I’m riding at 8 stone 8 pounds which is my lowest riding weight now. I won’t be having any breakfast in the morning. Thundering Blue is bottom weight and looks like he has a really good chance. He won at Newmarket last time and appears very progressive.

I’ve ridden him before on his first ever start in the Wood Ditton and I liked him a lot that day. He lost his way for a while but he’s back to form now.

I wouldn’t be doing my minimum weight on him if I didn’t think it was worth it. It’s a £50,000 race and we are hopeful of a good run.

4.10 Alkhalifa

Alkhalifa won at Newbury and then went up to Ripon and came third. He won when there was a bit of juice in the ground and the ground should be to his liking at Sandown. He’s a horse I like and I think he can run well.

4.45 Najashee

This is a good horse. We thought Najashee ran a big race first time out but he blew the start.

Then he was third and it took a while for the penny to drop. But he won last time out and he is developing into a nice horse. He’s well drawn in one and I would be very hopeful of a big run from him.

Owen’s horses are going really well. Massaat won the Hungerford first time out which was great and then Talaayeb won at York for him.

I couldn’t do the weight on her at York but I thought she was a good thing.

She didn’t stay a mile and a quarter on her previous run but she’d been fourth in the 1000 Guineas and was back in a Group Three over seven furlongs. I’m not sure where she’ll go next. She might go to Doncaster.


I then jump in the car and head to Chelmsford.

7.20 Midnight Wilde

I begin on Midnight Wilde for John Ryan. He has some nice bits of form and was second at York before he won.

It’s a competitive little race with great prize money on offer. It’s a £50,000 race. He will hopefully have at least a place chance.

7.50 Ibn Malik

This is a really nice horse. He’s been running in Group races and he’s now back in a handicap. Unfortunately Ibn Malik drawn 14 of 16 over seven furlongs.

That said it’s not too bad as it’s straight, it’s not like the mile dog-leg at Chelmsford which can have a draw bias.

Ibn Malik is a forward runner so he should be able to get out and get across from there. I think he has a really good chance. He ran on very soft ground last time and I think he’ll be suited by the all-weather. He’s a good moving horse and he’s top weight for a reason.

He’s a big strong horse and he’ll have no problem carrying the weight.

8.20 Etikaal

He disappointed last time out but won on his previous start. He’s drawn in 4 and this will hopefully see him get back on track. I rode him last time out at Chelmsford and he was a bit disappointing but he has won here before and has course and distance form. He’s well drawn and could go close.

8.50 Dowayla

I haven’t ridden this filly before but she’s proving really consistent. She’s well drawn in 3 so hopefully she’ll run a nice race.

On Sunday my plan is to have the day off and a rest. I could do with a quiet day after ten rides on the Saturday!

Ebor review

The Ebor meeting was fantastic. The highlight was obviously winning the Juddmonte International on Ulysses but all the horses ran really well.

The only disappointment was Battaash, when he got very worked up at the start. I was really pleased with Mustashry. He ran a super race. Fidaawy won well and I rode a really nice winner for William Haggis called Mojito. It was a great week.

Ulysses is getting better all the time. He just seems to keep improving. He’s right up with the very best of them this season, and he’s certainly the best horse I’ve ever ridden. I certainly think one day we’ll look back and realise what a very good horse he was.

When I’m riding him, I’m just very focused, in my own bubble. It’s my job, I don’t get emotional or pumped up about it, I’m not like that.

In the Juddmonte, it was just amazing to be sitting in behind a Guineas winner (Churchill) and a St James’ Palace winner (Barney Roy) and they are off the bridle, and I’m taking a pull on my horse.

It was a very good race and to be able to come there cruising on the bridle is just testimony to how good Ulysses is.

Everything has gone brilliantly this season, especially winning the Sussex Stakes and the Coral-Eclipse, as well as the Juddmonte. I’ve been so lucky to get on Ulysses. The last few weeks have gone particularly well too.

I won a Group Three at Goodwood last weekend on Dutch Connection, and the week before we won the Hungerford Stakes on Massaat. I just touch wood that everything keeps going well as it’s been a great season so far.

Tasleet is coming back for the Haydock Park Sprint. He’s better with a bit of juice in the ground and to be honest The July Cup was never really going to be his thing. It didn’t work out for him as they went a slow pace on fast ground.

I think he’s been forgotten about a little bit. It was a big run in the Golden Jubilee and his big targets now will be in the Haydock Sprint Cup and the Sprint on Champions Day.

I’m looking forward to getting my leg across him again. It would be nice to ride some more Group 1 winners this season and I definitely think he can do it, based on his Royal Ascot run.

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Jim Crowley

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.