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About Jim:

Jim Crowley began his flat racing career as an amateur before switching to National Hunt racing, where he landed approximately 300 winners. He then returned to the flat to ride for sister-in-law Amanda Perrett. After years of hard work, Jim was finally rewarded when we won the 2016 Stobart Flat Jockey Championship with an incredible 148 winners. That was followed by a lucrative retained partnership with leading owner Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum, for whom he is the no.1 jockey. Now, the reigning Champion Jockey gives you an exclusive insight into all of his big rides for the 2017 season, courtesy of Coral.

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Jim Crowley: “Silent Echo can get me on the score sheet today”

Coral ambassador discusses racing behind closed doors and today’s rides

What’s it like racing behind closed doors?

You don’t really notice the lack of crowds when you’re racing. The ground was very fast. It will suit some horses but won’t suit others. It looks like there are some nice horses coming out this weekend.

We are slowly getting used to our masks. It’s uncomfortable to ride with something restricting your breathing but we are getting the hang of it.

At Newmarket we have a one-way system, so once we have weighted out, we have to go round the whole building to get back into the changing rooms. When we get to the paddock it’s another one-way system and we have a little cross to stand on to chat to the connections. The valets are wiping down everything with disinfectants. The racecourses are taking great care and doing a really good job.

There’s definitely not as much fun in the weighing room. It’s normally such a jovial place, with loads of mickey-taking going on. It’s not so easy when we are all changing in compartments, but we are still sharing the odd joke, and when you have 30 odd jockeys in a room there’s always going to be a bit of fun.

Newmarket – Friday

13.15 – Raoufah

She’s been working really well. William Haggas’s horses are in good form. He’s having a few winners. She’s pleasing everyone at home. At this time of year you just don’t know. She could bump into a superstar, or she could be a superstar. John Gosden’s filly on paper looks a nice type. We are hopeful of a nice run today.

13.50 – Tinto

He’s a good little horse. He’s won on soft ground, he’s won on fast ground. He’d probably have to put up a career best to win this, but he’s a solid horse and will have an each-way chance. He’ll need to be at the top of his game

14.25 – Breathtaking Look

I rode her to win the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster last year. I made the running on her over seven furlongs. She has lots of pace and Stuart Williams is a very shrewd trainer. He won this race last year with Keystroke. He wouldn’t be running her in this race if he didn’t think she had a chance. She’s won her only start over six furlongs and I think she’ll have enough pace. She has got a 3lb penalty but it’s not that strong a race on paper. She has a chance.

15.00 – Dawaam

He’s a horse we really like at home. He’s working well. He has only had two runs in his life which is not a lot for a four-year-old but he’s training very well. He’s the lowest-rated horse in the race, so he’s got work to do on the ratings. I wouldn’t put people off though. He’s capable of a big show.

15.35 – Desert Encounter

He’s a two-time winner of the Canadian International. I’ve ridden him a few times. He tends to do better later in the year – he usually needs his first few runs. He likes a lot of pace in a race which is why he doesn’t run well in Dubai where they go slow early and then sprint.

I think Ghayyaith is an absolute monster. I rode against him in Dubai and he’s a machine. If he gets loose on the lead they won’t see which way he goes. Stradivarius is probably having a tune-up for an Ascot Gold Cup. Defoe is a lovely horse but I think he’s better with juice in the ground. Anthony Van Dyck is a Derby winner who I think could be a surprise package in the race. He ran well on firm ground in the Breeders Cup. I think he could run well but can’t see past Ghayyaith to be honest.

17.20 – Thowq

She’s another one for William Haggas. She’s going nicely at home. We don’t know too much as it’s her first time out. On paper there are a lot of nice fillies in this race. She’s a first foal of a dam who was unraced, so we are in the dark. She’s a nice-looking type so we will see how we go.

17.55 – Silent Echo

Silent Echo’s trainer, Peter Hedger is a good trainer. He does really well with the horses he has. I’ve ridden this horse before. He likes a strong pace, and the way this track is going with the fast ground will suit him. It’s a tight little race but hopefully he can get one on the score sheet for me.

Jim