Jim Crowley: ‘Mohaafeth ticks a lot of boxes and I wouldn’t swap him for anything.’
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley previews his rides on Derby Day
Our man Jim Crowley looks ahead to his four rides at Epsom on Saturday, including Mohaafeth in the Cazoo Derby.
My first ride on this huge day is a lovely spare to pick up. Posted finished fifth to Lady Bowthorpe at Newmarket last month, and the winner has since gone on to finish second to Palace Pier in the Lockinge.
Rated 108, she’s top rated here along with Maamora, she’s tough and genuine and should be in the mix.
The Cazoo Derby is, for me, the most important race in the world, and the race every jockey wants to win. It’s a race I watched growing up, and when I was a jump jockey I never thought I’d be riding in it, so to be going there on a horse with the potential of Mohaafeth is very special.
He couldn’t have won his last race any easier, he was so good that day it did surprise me. He’s just taken steps forward with every run this season, from Lingfield’s all-weather in March, to two wins at Newmarket, he’s just kept on improving. I went to sit on him at home recently and he really impressed me again, he’s done well physically and mentally, and I know William Haggas [trainer] is excited about him, as am I.
We have worked him on softer ground, and he does handle it, but he’s much better on top of the ground, so the sunshine this week is very welcome, I just hope we don’t get too much rain now before the big day. He’s not an overly big horse, he’s well-balanced, he’s got a serious turn of foot, and that ability to quicken is vital in this race, you don’t just want a horse to stay. He ticks a lot of boxes and hopefully he can do the business.
I know Mohaafeth is a very good horse, but I still don’t know how good he might be, as he hasn’t been tested to that level so far, and that means my rivals don’t know how good he is either! I do think it’s an open race, Bolshoi Ballet deserves to be favourite after his two wins this season, and the decision of his connections to rely just on the one horse is both a good thing and a bad thing as far as I’m concerned.
It’s potentially bad news for us all as it’s a massive vote of confidence in the horse and how good they think he is, but on the plus side for the rest of us, it lessens the chances of a freak result, like we saw last year, when Serpentine went off in front and stayed there.
Although we have the trial winners from Chester, Lingfield and York, and the Irish 2000 Guineas winner, along with John Leeper, none of those really scared me when they won their races. I respect them, and I do think they give the race an open look, but I wouldn’t swap my fellow for any of them, he’s done everything right and is in a good place.
I team up with my sister-in-law Amanda Perrett here, this is a race we’ve won twice before together so it would nice to complete the hat-trick!
Frontispiece is having his first run at Epsom, but he’s an experienced type who ran well at Ascot last time, is versatile with regards to the going, and has a decent draw from stall four, so hopefully can run a nice race.
Tinto is another trained by Amanda, he’s got plenty of ability, which saw his rating go up into the 100s, he’s back down to 95 here and has the blinkers on, he’s got plenty of pace which you need on this quick six furlongs, so I hope we can end the meeting with a decent run.