Jim Crowley: “I wouldn’t swap Hukum for anything else in the race”
Coral ambassador previews his Saturday rides at Doncaster
Doncaster 13.50 – Albasheer
I begin Leger Day on a horse I like a lot, Albasheer. I didn’t ride him when he won at Doncaster first time up, but he was very impressive that day, beating another one of Sheikh Hamdan’s.
I’ve ridden him in work since, and he gave me a lovely feel. This is a big step up in class, and he only has the experience of that one run, but he’s bred to be good and I really do like him a lot.
The boss also runs Mujbar here. He also won very well last time – that was on soft ground which it won’t be here, but he could well take another step forward too.
It says a lot about the strength in depth the team has with the juveniles that I have to make a choice like this in a Group 2. As always, I hope I’ve made the right choice!
Doncaster 15.00 – Molatham
I think Molatham will run a big race. Of the runners ahead of him in the betting, Limato is very exposed, he is what he is. One Master can run the odd weaker race, and we finished ahead of Wichita here last season, so there are reasons for thinking they are all beatable.
My fellow is still unexposed. After his Royal Ascot win, he went to France, but I don’t think he ran up to his best that day. He’s had a break since then, we know he likes this track, and I’m hoping for a big run.
Doncaster 15.35 – Hukum
I’m very much looking forward to riding Hukum in the St Leger, I wouldn’t swap him for another horse in the race.
He’s a Royal Ascot winner, and he then took a nice step forward winning the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury. That was over a mile and five furlongs – he galloped out well that day so this Leger trip won’t be an issue to him.
He’s a beautifully-bred son of Sea The Stars and he’s absolutely thriving right now. I really think he will run a big race and hopefully he can make it third time lucky for me, as I’ve been second in the race twice!
Of the other market principals, Pyledriver was impressive at York, but there has to be a question mark about him staying this extra two furlongs. I’d be more worried about Santiago, who looks a staying type and has won an Irish Derby. Galileo Chrome is unexposed but hasn’t yet shown the level form required to win this, although he has to be respected.
It’s been a brilliant season for Sheikh Hamdan, but to win a Classic for him would really put the seal on this year. Of course the Derby is important, but the St Leger is a special race, a proper race, and to win it would mean so much.
Doncaster 17.15 – Away He Goes
My final ride is on Away He Goes, a horse I ride for the first time. He’s back in handicap company after running fifth of seven in a Group 3 in France last time. Whether he’s in the grip of the handicapper or not I’m not sure, but it’s a small field and none of the five could be ruled out.