Jim Crowley: “Elarqam is really fulfilling his potential now”
Coral ambassador previews his Wednesday and Thursday rides at Ebor
York must be delighted with the superstar horses that will be running here this week, but credit to the track, they put up proper prize money and have got their rewards this week. It’s certainly one of the highlights of the season for me, and I’ve been lucky here in recent years, winning the Juddmonte International and Ebor among other races, and fingers crossed I’ll enjoy more success at the meeting this year.
I’m on Elarqam in a brilliant renewal of the International, and firstly I’m just really looking forward to riding in a race this good.
My horse has been a revelation this season. Yes, he had some good form in the book earlier in his career, but he’s really fulfilling his potential now. I actually didn’t ride him last time as I wasn’t sure he’d beat Addeybb, but he did, easily, and that form has been franked since with Addeybb winning at Haydock.
I can’t say he’s going to win, as it’s such a tough race, but I do believe he will run a big race. Sheikh Hamdan has supplemented him for this race, and I’m sure he will do that entry justice.
He’s a course and distance winner so we know he suits the track, and there is hardly a better-bred horse in training [by Frankel out of Attraction].
Crystal Ocean is a worthy favourite, although you could make a case for saying he’s even better at a mile and a half, and you could the same about Japan.
King Of Comedy looks as if he will appreciate this trip, while Circus Maximus is stepping back up after his run in the Sussex Stakes [over a mile], so you could say there are slight question marks against all the leading contenders. Equally though, any of the above could win and it wouldn’t be a shock.
My horse hasn’t won a Group One yet, but he’s won his Group Two and looks ready for this step up, and this race has seen some surprise results in the past, such as Arabian Queen beating Golden Horn, so you should never be afraid of having a go, particularly with Mark Johnston’s horses in such great form.
He’s a straightforward horse to ride, if we’re up with the pace it won’t be an issue. He can hit a flat spot in his races, but he grinds it out, so again York is a good track for him, and he’s in much better form now than he was twelve months ago.
He will need to improve, but he ticks a lot of boxes and it’s just case of whether he’s good enough, hopefully he is.
John Ryan is a shrewd trainer who does well with the horses he has, and he’s shown that already with Aircraft Carrier, who was previously trained by Aidan O’Brien. I haven’t ridden him before, he was behind Eddystone Rock at Ascot last time, but is much better off at the weights here with that one, so if he runs to his best he could have an each-way chance at a price.
I ride Buhturi in the Nursery, and I really do think he’s a cracking young horse. He’s had just the three starts, winning nicely at Haydock on his penultimate start, while at Ascot last time the ground was probably slow enough for him and he pulled too hard over the seven furlongs trip.
The return to a fast six furlongs here should suit, and I’d be hopeful his mark of 88 gives us something to work with. I think he’ll run a big race.
I don’t have a ride in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, as only three rivals have been declared to take on the brilliant Enable. I said before the King George that she was the best filly or mare I’d seen, and I’ve seen the back of her a few times now!
I still don’t think she gets the credit she deserves, this could be the last chance a British crowd gets to see her, so if you can get to York on Thursday, do!
I can see why John Gosden has gone for this race rather than the Juddmonte International, it makes sense to stay at the mile and a half trip ahead of her run in the Arc. She has the beating of these three rivals, it should be a formality and it will be a lovely race to watch.
I thought Frankie [Dettori] was absolutely brilliant on her at Ascot last time, he didn’t have to go for his whip, and she didn’t get the best passage that day, she probably ran four of five lengths further than Crystal Ocean did that day.
Hameem is owned by Sheikh Hamdan’s daughter, she takes a great deal of pleasure in her horses and we’re having a crack at getting some black type for her filly here.
She gallops and stays well, and on official ratings there’s not much between the field, so on a track that should suit her, hopefully we can get the job done and pick up that all-important black type.