Jim Crowley: “It’s close to call but I’d just favour Ghaiyyath”
Coral ambassador previews his rides on Day One of the York Ebor Festival
York 13.45 – Mubaalegh
I start the Ebor meeting on Mubaalegh for the boss and Marcus Tregoning. He’s had just the one start since switching from John Hammond’s in France, and I thought he ran well at Ascot that day, he showed plenty of speed and just got a bit tired late on. He’s been dropped 3 pounds for that run, which will help, as would better ground, and he had some smart Group form in France, so I think he’s got a chance here, it would certainly be no surprise to see him outrun his odds.
York 15.15 – Juddmonte International
I don’t have a ride in the day’s feature, but it’s a great race and one I’ll be watching with interest. Kameko was unlucky at Goodwood last time no doubt, although whether he’d have beaten Mohaather, obviously I don’t think so! This step up in trip is interesting for him, but he faces three top class older rivals. Magical is a brilliantly tough mare who has done nothing wrong again this season, while the race could be run to suit Lord North, but if I could choose one to ride it would be Ghaiyyath.
He’s looked superb in winning his three starts so far this year, Coral-Eclipse winners often do well in this race, and his defeat of Enable at Sandown looks even better now, and York is a decent track for front runners, although if Rose Of Kildare was to take him on early that could make life difficult for William [Buick]. It’s a really close race to call, but I would narrowly favour the Godolphin runner, but that said, you wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the big four come out on top.
York 16.50 – Mutazawwed
Mutazawwed is having his fifth run of the season in the Nursery. He’s won an ordinary race at Lingfield, and then ran OK at Epsom on Derby day. He was a little bit unlucky when finishing second at Hamilton last time, but this track should suit him. He will need to improve again, but if he can, he should run well here for a trainer who always does well here.
Mohaather v Palace Pier
Away from York, you had to be impressed by Palace Pier’s win in the Jacques Le Marois at Deauville at the weekend. He’s a big strong horse who coped with the testing conditions well, and he showed he’d come on from his St James’s Palace Stakes win, a race that has already been given a boost by Pinatubo’s French Group 1 win.
Would I swap him for Mohaather though? No, I wouldn’t! I still think his Sussex Stakes win is the standout mile performance of the season, to have the pace to get us out of trouble like he did, very few horses can do that. Let’s hope we take each other on later in the season, it would be something special and a race I’d look forward to.