Jim Crowley: “Al Aasy really should be winning this”
Coral ambassador previews his Saturday rides at Newbury
I missed the winning ride on Khaadem at Doncaster last week because of my fall earlier that day. It was especially disappointing as I really thought he’d win, and he duly obliged. Having the headgear on and dropping back to five furlongs did the trick, as he’s all speed, but my only concern here is with the ground. His best form is on a quicker surface and good to soft here could blunt his speed, while some of his leading rivals, like Tis Marvellous, won’t mind the ease in the ground.
It’s a decent looking race, with the first four in the market all bringing a good level of form. My fellow broke the track record at Doncaster, albeit that was on quick ground with a slight tailwind, but if the blinkers work again and he’s not too inconvenienced by the going, he must have an excellent chance. He’s certainly an exciting ride to start the day and if he does win this, we could be looking at the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc day for him next.
Al Aasy looked so exciting earlier in the season, winning two Group 3s at Newbury really easily. We then stepped him up to the top level in the Coronation Cup, where he finished a close second to Pyledriver. After he finished second again at Newmarket, the decision was made to geld him as he was just becoming a bit too hard to handle. He’s a big strong horse and he was a bit of a handful at home, he would have become difficult to train.
I haven’t sat on him since he’s been gelded but I understand the team at home are very happy with him, he’s been training well. For me, he was the most exciting horse at the start of the season, he hasn’t got to improve much to become a Group 1 performer, but hopefully being gelded will bring about plenty of improvement. He’s clear top rated here, he’s versatile in terms of the ground, he likes Newbury and I hope he can take this on route to bigger and better targets. Having been gelded, he’s definitely a horse we can take on his travels. He should be winning this.
Dawaam is a talented horse and I rode him three starts ago at York when I felt we were a little bit unlucky in running. I’ve not ridden him in his last two runs, he’s not the most straightforward type and can be a strong traveller. He carries top weight here which won’t make life easy against some improving three-year-olds in particular, but if he copes with the going, he could run into a place.
I rode Borntobealeader on his debut at Sandown, he was very green that day, and I’d expect him to take a step forward here with that experience behind him. Whether he’s good enough to win this we’ll have to see, as there are some nice looking types against him here, but whatever this fellow does I’d say he’s a horse for next year.
Seven years old now, Frontispiece has run well in his last two starts, while he is slowly dropping down the weights, although whether he’s off a nice enough mark to win this, particularly with several less-exposed younger horses in opposition, remains to be seen. He could certainly run well at an each-way price.