Crowley calls it: “If Smart Call takes to the surface I think she’ll win”

Jim Crowley Horse Racing

I was very happy with the way Royal Ascot went

I was gutted Battaash got beat. There were some people saying I should have taken a lead, but he nearly always leads, and he broke so fast from the stalls, so it was the right thing to do.

Up at Haydock last time when Dane rode him he missed the kick completely. So he pinged out like a cork out of a bottle, and once you’re in front Ascot can be a tough place to make the running although many good horses have.

All Blue Point had to do was track me all the way but looking back on it there wasn’t a lot else I could do really. I was very pleased with him and I think he’ll come on for it. He’ll definitely bounce back.

I was thrilled with Eqtidaar winning the Commonwealth Cup. He’d worked well with Expert Eye the week before, so when he won the Jersey Stakes I was very confident in Eqtidaar. It was a great run and great to win a Group One.

Winning the Wokingham on Bacchus was a bit of a surprise. I’d looked at his profile and he had been off the track a long time and Dreamfield looked like he’d be tough to beat. However they rang me in the morning and were quite positive.

It worked out perfectly as I got a great tow off the favourite the whole way, and just as Blue Point did to me on Battaash, I came late and fast and did him on the line.

It was a great training performance by Brian Meehan, and a huge buzz and very unexpected.

Everything ran well all week. I was also second on Afaak and Corgi. So it was good week.

If someone had said at the start of the week that I’d have two winners and three seconds including a Group One victory, I’d have taken it all day long.

Friday Night at Newcastle on ITV4

6.55 – Amplification

I haven’t ridden him before. He looks a nice horse and I think he’s got a chance. He won last year at Doncaster under Ryan Moore.

He was a bit disappointing last time, but it was off a break, so hopefully he can go better tonight.

8.05 – Smart Call

I’m really looking forward to riding her. Things just haven’t really clicked for her in England but she has run well in a couple of decent Group races. Hopefully tonight will be the night she gets her head in front.

It looks the perfect race for her. She’s rated 108 and is the top rated in the field by some margin. She was a very good filly in South Africa. My only concern is that she’s had one run on the all-weather and ran poorly.

However that was only over a mile. Her last run was very good in a Group Two at York. If she takes to the surface, I think she will win.

I’ve been watching the racing there recently and because of the heat it looks like the surface is riding very slow. The same thing is happening at Kempton. It seems to be hard to make up any notable ground.

 8.40 – Mubhij

I rode Mubhij at Kempton on his first start and he ran an encouraging race that day. He wasn’t fully tuned up that day and I would like to think that he’s improved a lot since that day.

We have another horse in the field , an unraced runner from William Haggis’s yard who the bookies make favourite, but I’ve stuck with Mubhij as I’m expecting a lot of improvement from him. I’m hoping the market has got it wrong.

9.10 – Forever In Love

I haven’t ridden this horse before. She’s a maiden but Robert wouldn’t be sending her all the way up to Newcastle for a fillies handicap if he didn’t think she had a good chance. Let’s hope she’s good enough.


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