Jim Crowley: ‘Hukum is in good form and Sandown is a nice place to start.’
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley previews his rides at Sandown on Friday
Our man Jim Crowley looks ahead to his four rides at Sandown and tells us what he thinks Hukum is capable of this season.
My first ride of the day, Hukum, has a similar profile to last weekend’s John Porter winner, Al Aasy, who won at Newbury as well as I’d hoped he would going into the race.
In an ideal world both of these horses will progress and end up being in contention for all of the season’s top mile and a half races, but Hukum is starting off here over the shorter trip of ten furlongs.
He was impressive when winning at Royal Ascot and Newbury last summer. I don’t think he quite saw out the trip in a properly run St Leger, and I’ve no doubt his future lies over 12 furlongs. So this could be a little bit on the sharp side for him, but he’s in good form, this is a nice race to start him off in and I’m looking forward to it.
Just to go back to Al Aasy, he really was dominant at Newbury, and I believe William Haggas is looking at Chester for his next run, and then if that goes well the Coronation Cup, so he’s very exciting.
Khuzaam is still lightly raced, and was an impressive winner of the All-weather Mile Championships earlier this month.
He is obviously a nice horse, but so far all his best form has come on the all-weather. He’s a strong travelling horse with a lot of pace, and I’ve always felt that seven furlongs could be his best trip, he got the mile around Lingfield but that is an easy mile.
We’ve got Palace Pier to beat, he’s clearly a top class miler, one of the best around, but my fellow is fit and well from his all-weather runs.
I do have a concern that a stiff mile around Sandown could just find him out, but on the plus side, it’s a good front runners’ track, and if he gets an uncontested lead and I can switch him off, he could see out the mile well.
If he runs well here then races like the Lockinge come into the equation. And if he doesn’t get home, there are plenty of decent seven furlongs races to aim him at later in the season. We’ll learn more about him here, but whatever happens, he will have to be at his best to beat a Group One performer like Palace Pier.
Irish Legend is the lowest rated of these on official ratings, but this son of Sea The Stars has won his two starts so far.
He’ll enjoy this trip, and I’m sure Hugo Palmer wouldn’t be running him if he didn’t think he was up to this level, so he could well outrun his odds.
Haizoom is another by Sea The Stars. She’s had just the one start, at the back end of last year, I rode her that day at Lingfield, and she just ran very green throughout, she was absolutely clueless!
I’m sure she’ll improve from that run, and while she would need to take a big step forward here to figure, she’s a nicely bred filly for the future.
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