Jim Crowley: “Mohaather could outrun his odds”
Coral ambassador previews his rides at Ascot on Saturday
13.35 Qipco British Champions Sprint – Khadeem
Khaadem was very disappointing at Haydock last time, but there were genuine excuses for that Sprint Cup run, as he did have a little issue coming out of the race.
He’s in good form now, and has been working nicely, but as we were going into Haydock, we’re stepping into the unknown somewhat, going from a handicap win [Stewards’ Cup] to a Group One.
He has won on good to soft, but as for so many runners this weekend, this deep heavy ground is going to be something different to cope with. He is a big price, but he has to be as he’s yet to show any Group One form, but he’s a talented horse and if he were to run a big race it wouldn’t be the biggest shock.
Talking of the ground, there’s always a risk of heavy ground at this time of year, and this year Ascot has been particularly unlucky with all the rain. On the whole though Champions Day has settled in nicely, it’s a day I look forward to and enjoy riding at, and most importantly, more often than not the right horses, the best horses, are winning.
I’ve won on Mekong before, and he’s one who will love the ground, he has winning form on Haydock heavy. Sir Michael [Stoute] wouldn’t be running him if he didn’t have a chance, and the hope is he will cope with the mud better than most of these, if he does he has an each-way chance.
Clearly Stradivarius will be hard to beat, on what is Champions Day he is the one champion in his division, but on this testing ground you just never know, so he has to be taken on.
14.45 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares – Sun Maiden
Sun Maiden is a smashing filly, but she is going to have to step up on what she’s done. I’m not totally convinced about this ground for her, all her best form has come on better ground, but I’ve won on her before, and in what looks an open race, on this going you can get some strange results so you never know.
15.20 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – Mohaather
Mohaather is something of a forgotten horse, having been off the track since his Greenham Stakes win back in April. He’s had his problems, but missing the summer could be a blessing in disguise, as he wouldn’t want fast ground, being by Showcasing.
His Greenham win has worked out nicely, so although this is a massive step up in class, there’s no standout performer in the mile division, and Marcus Tregoning will have him ready for this, so if my fellow gets the trip, and there is a question mark about that in heavy ground, he could outrun his odds.
Whatever happens here, we should find out more about his best trip for next year, and he remains a horse to look forward to.
16.00 Qipco Champion Stakes – Regal Reality
My final ride is another for Sir Michael Stoute, Regal Reality in the Champion Stakes. He’s got some good form to his name this season, which would give him an each-way chance here, and being by Intello he should be OK on the ground.
Magical deserves to be favourite, having run some big races all year, while Addeybb will relish the going, so we may be looking for a place.
Looking back on the season, overall I’m really pleased with how it’s gone. Numerically I’ve finished in flying form and will be third in the official standings, while the Group One wins for Mustashry and Battaash would be the highlights.
Sheikh Hamdan could well be crowned champion owner, and in what is always a team effort, that’s important too, and he’s been busy at the sales in recent weeks so we have plenty to look forward to next year and beyond.