Jim Crowley: “The Jersey is the right race for Mutasaabeq and he could go close”
Coral ambassador previews his rides for day five at Royal Ascot
The final day of the Royal meeting begins on Mutasaabeq in the Jersey for me, and we’re drawn in stall 1, so I’ll be hoping that the favourite, Creative Force, from stall 4, will ensure there’s a decent pace on that side, as you don’t really want to be out on your own on the wing in these races.
My fellow took a big step up in class to run in the 2,000 Guineas, in an open year it was the right thing to do, as we knew we could always drop down in class for this race.
I won this race on Dutch Connection a few years ago, he also finished seventh in the Guineas before coming here so it does suit that type of horse. I’ve ridden him in work and he seems in good form, I think if he’s good enough, and he’ll certainly act on softer going, he could go close.
My Hardwicke mount, Hukum, is another who is versatile in terms of the going, and of course he won at this meeting last year. We’re drawn in stall 6 here, which should be OK in what is a decent-sized field for this race.
I did expect him to win easier at Goodwood last time than he actually did, he made harder work of it than we hoped, however I have ridden him at home since and I’d say he’s come on a good deal for that run.
Of his rivals, Ilaraab will probably appreciate any cut in the ground, Japan is a proven Group One performer, while his stablemate, Broome, looks the one to beat on his form so far this season, while 15 runners tells you how open it is, with plenty of connections giving it a go, but hopefully my fellow will be bang there.
Nice spare ride to have picked up for King Power in the day’s Group One, I’ve not ridden Happy Power before but he’s a classy, versatile sort, who’s won Group races over 7 furlongs, and has won on different going, so he shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the rain.
On his last two runs he’s chased home Palace Pier, that was over a mile, but he’s always shown plenty of pace so dropping back to 6 furlongs is interesting, and we know he’ll get this stiff 6 well. We’re drawn next to King Power’s other runner, Art Power, so there’ll be no shortage of speed around us, and in an open Diamond Jubilee, we could have an each-way chance.
In the Wokingham I’m once again drawn in stall 1, on Raaeb, so I’ll obviously be staying on the far side. He’s got a bit of form on good to soft, so hopefully the ground won’t be any worse than that by Saturday.
He won well on the Chelmsford all-weather two runs ago, he’s a strong traveller who could have an each-way chance in a race as competitive as you’d expect.
We have seen horses win on both sides this week, which just backs up what I’ve always said, what matters in a race is where the pace is, not where you’re drawn, so if we have some early pace around us, that will help.
What you don’t want to see as a jockey is a race split into two groups, and then you see that the group on the other side is four or five lengths ahead, as you then have to commit your horse earlier than ideal. But I guess that’s why they call it the luck of the draw!
I end the week on what I think is a nice horse, although a wide draw from 15 over this mile and quarter trip isn’t ideal as you’re straight into the bend, so you either have to ping the gates and get a good early position, or drop in and ride for luck, it all depends how well your horse jumps from the stalls.
I also wouldn’t want really soft ground for him, he’ll handle it, but he’s much better on top of the ground, so Friday’s rain is a concern.
On the plus side, the form of his two wins is working out well, and he’s a horse we hope has plenty more improvement in him, which he will need tackling handicap company for the first time, and in a race as competitive as this, but as long as it’s not really soft ground, he’s a lovely ride to hopefully end the week on a high on.