Jim Crowley – “I like this horse a lot.”

It was a fantastic thrill to win the Ebor last weekend on Muntahaa. It has always been a race I have really wanted to win. I know the Group races are the ones which most jockeys say they love winning but the Ebor is a fantastic handicap and to prevail in it on a horse for Sheikh Hamdan is great.

I spoke to John Gosden before the race and he said he had this crazy idea about staying wide away from the rest of the group. He asked me my view on it and I was all for it. We were drawn very wide and it just seemed like a no brainer to me. I don’t think it has been tried before. I was lucky to have a horse who was able to do it. The race went like clockwork after that.

There has been talk of the Melbourne Cup for Muntahaa later in the year which is exciting. He could also be an Irish St Leger horse. We will just have to wait and see what connections think is the best option though. It was just great to get his head in front as he is very talented and thankfully he was able to show his best form in such a big race.

It was a nice pick-me-up after the disappointment of Battaash in the Nunthorpe. He clearly was not at his best. I don’t think we can say he only performs well at Goodwood as he has won at Haydock and he destroyed the field in the Abbaye last year. Maybe he doesn’t like York but then again it could have been a harder race at Goodwood than we thought so that may have took it out of him. I think he will go straight to the Abbaye now where he will be a fresh horse.

Saturday

2.25 Sandown – Almoreb

He has won at Sandown and he won’t mind any cut in the ground so a drop of rain will help him. Richard Hannon’s horses are in good form at the moment. It is a tough race, he has a nice draw in stall six though so I think he will have an each-way chance in what is an open contest.

6.15 Chelmsford – Durrell

He has a nice pedigree as he is by Animal Kingdom. Luca Cumani is not renowned for having winning two year olds first time out but I will be hoping he does himself justice and he runs a good race.

7.15 Chelmsford – Motafaawit

I like this horse a lot. He was a little unlucky last time at Newbury where he hung right and I felt he gave the race away as we should have won that day. My only concern for him is going left-handed here after hanging right last time. He is a decent horse though. He won first time up at Leicester and he has plenty of ability.

7.45 Chelmsford – Mankib

It is a good race here as there is great prize money put up by Chelmsford in the race. I won on him at Newbury. He then came out and won at Thirsk. When he was in France he ran in the French Guineas. He is well thought of back at home and he will definitely have a good chance from a decent draw.

8.45 Chelmsford – Juliet Foxtrot

She won at Goodwood on soft ground where she absolutely bolted up. She then ran in Ireland in a Group race where she performed ok. Unfortunately she hasn’t shown anywhere near that kind of form this year but hopefully she can bounce back in this race.

Sunday

4.20 Longchamp – Jackfinbar

There are only five runners in this race so he would have to have a good chance. He won at Sandown last time out where he beat Ghostwatch who recently won the Melrose at York so that form has worked out well. Harry Dunlop does really well on his trips to France. It would be a nice race to win out there. I have only had the one ride since Longchamp was redone so I am looking forward to riding there again.

Jim Crowley

Jim Crowley’s illustrious career across both Jumps and Flat hit new heights last season when landing 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.