Jim Crowley: “I think Zanbaq has a great chance”
Jim Crowley previews his Ascot rides plus the King George
It’s a massive week in the season, with King George day at Ascot followed by my favourite week of the year, the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
There are several reasons why I love Glorious Goodwood. It’s my local track so my family are often there to support me, while the quality of the racing means it’s an important week for the Shadwell team.
Also, I’ve enjoyed a lot of success, and luck, there over the years, winning plenty of the big races, so hopefully that will continue next week!
It will be strange going there without Battaash, who’s been such a star in recent years, but I do have another Shadwell horse beginning with B to look forward to!
Baaeed will head to the Sussex Stakes as hot favourite, and rightly so, and while I’m not yet convinced by comparisons to Frankel, we are following the same route as that superstar, coming here after wins in the QE II, Lockinge and Queen Anne.
If he comes through next Wednesday’s test, the plan is then to step him up in trip in the Juddmonte International – again as Frankel did – but that’s all for the future.
My first ride of the day is on Zanbaq in the Group 3 Valiant Stakes. I think she was a little bit unlucky at Royal Ascot, where she ran a cracking race to finish second. We had to sit a little bit further back early on than I wanted to, we then had to wait for a run, and finally we got a little bump close to the finish line.
She’s had a little break since then which will have freshened her up nicely, we’re drawn well in stall 1 here, which is a positive on the round course, and I’m looking forward to getting back on her, I think she’s got a great chance of going one place better than last time.
There may only be six lining up in the King George, but they’re a proper bunch, and it looks a really hard race to call.
Westover looked really strong at the Curragh, but he’s facing a different level of opposition here, while Emily Upjohn may have been unlucky in the Oaks, but the winner that day, Tuesday, didn’t do much for the form in the Irish Derby.
Mishriff is a consistent performer in these big races, and could go close again here, while at a big price, the Arc winner [Torquator Tasso] could be under-rated, albeit this quick ground might not be in his favour.
If I had to pick one, I’d take a chance on Westover having more improvement to come, as I say he looked good in Ireland, and the weight he gets from his older rivals might just sway things his way.
My second ride of the day is on Repertoire in the mile handicap. We finished fourth at Newmarket on his last run, and he began this season with a win at Ascot on good to firm, so conditions here will be perfect for him.
That race at Newmarket rode like a decent contest, and while Her Majesty’s Saga looks the one to beat here, my fellow could definitely run into a place at a price.
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