Having ridden 15 winners in the last 14 days, there is no jockey hotter than Bet4Causes Brand Ambassador Jim Crowley.
In his exclusive Racing Plus newspaper column, Jim gives the insight for his Saturday rides and looks ahead to Glorious Goodwood…
By JIM CROWLEY
WHILE four of the five Classics have been run, when you are lucky enough to ride good horses, sometimes you can dare to dream.
On Wednesday evening I rode a colt who could be anything. Best Of Days, who made his debut in the seven-furlong maiden at Sandown Park and scored by six lengths, is trained by Hugo Palmer.
By Azamour and out of a High Chaparral mare who was a Listed 1m winner, he should develop into a decent middle-distance performer. He has a good stride on him, showed a lovely change of gear to pick them up and if he had run over a mile he could probably have won by 20 lengths.
Hugo won the 2000 Guineas with Galileo Gold and while it is too early to say if Best Of Days will develop into a Classic contender, he is by far the best two-year-old I have sat on so far this season and is certainly one for the notebook.
These really are the best of days at the moment, as I’ve been fortunate to be riding for some in-form stables and having a few winners over the last couple of weeks.
Today I will be at both Ascot and Salisbury and start the day aboard Poet’s Princess (2.45) in the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes.
I rode her first time out and liked her a lot. She didn’t have a hard time because she was quite nervous and Adam Kirby won on her at Newbury next time when I had to be elsewhere. It is a competitive race today against a few who look quite smart. She deserves her chance to run and hopefully she will run well.
It will be good to get back on my old mate Manson (3.20) in the mile handicap. He was beaten by Von Blucher at Newmarket last time when drawn away from him and didn’t get enough cover.
If he could have followed Von Blucher, he might have run a bit closer. Manson is also 7lb better off for that two-and-a-half-length defeat by that rival today, so I’m hopeful he can win.
His trainer, Dominic Ffrench Davis, still has designs on going to the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington next month and this stiff mile on a hold-up track should play to his strengths. I just hope the rain stays away and we get nice ground.
While this is a competitive handicap run over a mile, the Secretariat, for which you have to receive an invitation, is over 1m2f but there is every evidence to suggest he would get that trip. He ticks plenty of boxes and hopefully we can keep the dream alive.
Balty Boys (3.55), who has a string of duck eggs to his name, runs in the International Stakes. However, he is a fairly decent animal and has been dropping down the weights.
Balty Boys (above, right) was fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup last year and in these cavalry charges, you need to be drawn in the right place and around the right horses. It is an open race but it will be nice if he runs well.
It is off to Salisbury after that. Attest (5.50), trained by Amanda Perrett, is a big horse whom I really like. Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, I rode his first time out here when third to Wave Reviews. He ran a lovely race and has been working really well at home. I’m hopeful of a big run in the 1m2f maiden.
As I have not sat on him, I don’t know much about Eolian (6.50), who will hopefully show a bit more than he as in his first two starts.
Catchment (7.20) is a nice little filly who has been second on her last two starts and she has been working well at home. Amanda’s horses are in good order and it doesn’t look a strong maiden. I would like think she has a decent chance of getting off the mark.
Algometer in Goodwood test
IT WAS not a great surprise to see Derby winner Harzand not entered for the St Leger. Owned by the Aga Khan, he will likely take his chance in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe instead.
It is rare that Derby winners take their chance at Doncaster. Horses are bred more for speed than stamina these days and winning the final British Classic is seen, sometimes incorrectly, as doing little to increase their value at stud.
Could that leave the door open for Algometer (below, centre), who was seventh at Epsom? I hope so. I’ve always thought a lot of the David Simcock-trained colt, who is likely to head to Glorious Goodwood next week.
Close to home, it is a track where I’ve been lucky enough to have ridden some good winners in races such as the Goodwood Cup, the Lillie Langtree and the Glorious Stakes.
Hopefully, I can add the Gordon Stakes to that list on Wednesday with Algometer (3.25) and there are a few potentially nice rides on Thursday, including York winner Pamona (3.45) in the Lillie Langtree, who must have a fair chance if replicating her last run.
Before that, at Windsor on Monday, I ride the Hugo Palmer-trained Evergate (6.25), who drops back to six furlongs having run a bit too free at Newmarket last time. He obviously thought that was what was required of him as he had previously jumped out and tried to make all at Leicester.
At Newmarket, there were only two horses who’d had previous experience, so all the debutants were either slowly away or didn’t want to lead, so he ended up running with the choke out and got no cover as he was drawn on the outside.
He will be a better horse when he gets a bit of cover and is held up.
Ed de Giles’ horses are on fire at the moment and Prendergast Hill (8.00) bids to follow up his win here last week in a slightly stronger handicap. There is no reason why he shouldn’t follow up.
I have not yet sat on the Ralph Beckett-trained September Stars (7.30), who was runner-up in an extended 1m1f Wolverhampton maiden last time, so don’t know much about him other than what the bare form states. However, if Ralph ran the stable cat, it would probably give you a good run for your money, such is his string’s form.
The five-day Glorious Goodwood festival starts on Tuesday (below). I ride Pleaseletmewin (2.35) for Ralph Beckett in the 7f Group Two Qatar Vintage Stakes. I haven’t ridden him before but he won at Newmarket under Ryan Moore last time and he has had just the four runs, so hopefully he is still learning and will improve again.
Arch Villain (3.45) goes in the 1m6f Summer Stakes. I got too far back on him at Newcastle in the Northumberland Plate when he was bidding for a hat-trick. He has won previously at Goodwood and with Amanda Perrett’s horses in great order, he should go well.
Musical Comedy (4.20) will have to improve a little on his first two runs of the season if he is to have a chance in the 5f handicap. He may just have needed those runs after a long lay-off and to be fair, he was not beaten far by Bashiba at Windsor last time.
Sea Shack (4.55) will hopefully have learned from his debut at Ascot behind Seven Heavens but I don’t know much about him, having not ridden him before.
I would hope that Desert Haze (5.30), a winner at Carlisle and Sandown earlier this season, would have a squeak in the mile fillies’ handicap. She has only had six previous starts and still looks on the upgrade.
As well as Algometer on Wednesday, Hugo Palmer runs a nice filly called Bithynia (4.20) who was made favourite for her debut when third at Sandown under James Doyle. The daughter of Kodiac cost 210,000 guineas earlier this year and while the 6f fillies’ maiden will no doubt be competitive, she would hold a fair chance.
I am at Sandown Wednesday night where I ride Pensax Boy (7.35) for Ian Williams. He won at Newcastle then was fourth at Newmarket last time, but was not beaten far and he still seems to be improving.
Crowning Glory (8.10) is a tough filly. Trained by Ralph Beckett, she was suited by a strong gallop at Windsor when I won on her last week. She steps up to 1m1f this time and that should be fine for her in what looks a competitive fillies’ handicap.
Readers of this column will know I hold the Lucy Wadham-trained Pumblechoock (8.40) in high regard and he is down to run in a 1m6f handicap. However, he needs some cut in the ground and will not run unless he gets that.
I hope that has given you a little insight into my rides this week. The good run will have to come to an end at some point, but I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.
READ JIM CROWLEY’S COLUMN IN THE RACING PLUS NEWSPAPER NEXT SATURDAY AND EVERY WEEK
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