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Jim Crowley: ‘Mohaafeth could not have won any easier and will head straight to Epsom.’

| 04.05.2021

Jim Crowley reflects on his 2000 Guineas day and looks forward to day one at Chester

At Newmarket on Saturday it was a case of ‘when one door closes, another one opens’. 

I thought Mutasaabeq ran very well considering it was only his third start, he finished seventh and he had some good horses behind him. But it was a tough race, they went hard all the way and the pace was unrelenting, and so early in his career that just found him out.

But as I say he ran very well and I’d still expect him to be winning some nice races as the season progresses. It was a big jump in class to go from a conditions race to running in a Guineas, it was the right decision as in an open year we had to take our chances, but it may be that he drops back down a grade to something like the Jersey Stakes, with a view to having another go at a Group One later on.

There were several horses with top level form behind him in the Guineas, and I picked out the winner [Poetic Flare] as a big danger going into the race, so I think it was a decent race and well up to standard, it certainly rode like that.

Two races after the Guineas I had the absolute pleasure of riding Mohaafeth in the Newmarket Stakes, and the first thing to say is I don’t think I’ll be riding an easier winner this year! The horse has improved no end, his 2-year-old form was good, finishing third at Salisbury, and then this season he’s done absolutely nothing wrong, and has improved massively with each run.

As you’d expect I was so taken with Saturday’s performance. He’s a real athlete, he’s got plenty of scope without being an overly big horse, and I think he’ll be suited by Epsom, he certainly handled the Dip at Newmarket well enough.

The Newmarket Stakes was only a four runner race, and I’m not sure how strong the form was, but all I know is my fellow could not have done it any easier. He will go straight to Epsom now, as there won’t be time to run him in another trial.

We’ll know more about our potential Derby chances once we’ve seen the trials at Chester, Lingfield and York in the next week or so, but I didn’t see anything run in the 2000 Guineas that struck me as an ideal Derby type.

I actually came in after his win and thought, this horse has got so much pace, he could have been placed in the Guineas, but he’s also got plenty of stamina, he wasn’t stopping at the end of the race, and you do need a turn of foot to win a Derby. He needs to step up another level, but yes, I’m excited about him.

Jim Crowley rides Zeyaadeh in the 14:15 at Chester

The action moves on to Chester this week, and I begin the meeting on Zeyaadeh in the Cheshire Oaks.

She won all three of her starts as a 2-year-old, and the form of her final win last season – in the Listed Montrose Stakes – was given a big boost when the runner-up [Mystery Angel] won Sunday’s Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket.

She’s won on different going, so is versatile in that respect, and she’s not a flashy worker at home, which I don’t mind at all. I’ve ridden plenty of good fillies who aren’t exuberant in their home work, they tend to save it for when it matters on the track, so I’m looking forward to riding her here.

This is when we’ll find out if she is an Oaks filly. Chester is a sharp track so you need a bit of luck in running, but the hope is she can run well here and set herself up for Epsom.

This race is an excellent Oaks trial, any cut in the ground here won’t inconvenience her, she struck me last year as a filly who would be better at three, and if she can beat the likes of Dubai Fountain [rated 110] here, it would be all systems go for Epsom.

Jim Crowley rides Alfaadhel in the 16:15 at Chester

Alfaadhel finished third at Newbury on his one start last year. I liked him that day, he didn’t have a hard race and I’d expect him to improve considerably for that run.

The winner that day, Foxes Tale, runs in the Dee Stakes here on Thursday, so connections clearly think highly of him.

I’m very happy being drawn in stall two here, that’s a big plus at Chester, and I’m looking forward to getting back on board and seeing where we are with him.


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Jim Crowley

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.