Jim Crowley
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Jim Crowley: I’d be disappointed if she doesn’t win this

| 22.09.2023

Jockey and Coral ambassador Jim Crowley spoke to us about the prospects of his seven rides at Ayr on Saturday afternoon.

Ayr 1.50 – Luckin Brew

I head to Ayr for a busy day of seven rides for a variety of trainers and on quite a few horses I’ve not ridden before, so it should be an exciting day. I begin on Luckin Brew in the famous Michael Tabor colours. She hasn’t run since last October, when she finished second in a Listed race at Pontefract, so it’s interesting they’ve persevered with her.

Ralph Beckett’s horses are on fire at the moment, and they wouldn’t be making the long trip to Ayr if she wasn’t ready to do herself justice I’m sure, so while Royal Rhyme sets a good standard, it’s not hard to see my filly running a decent race.

Ayr 2.25 – Cairn Gorm

In the Ayr Silver Cup I’m on Cairn Gorm. He was a ready winner at York two runs ago, but then ran a bit keen at Goodwood last time, and didn’t quite get home as a result. We’re drawn in stall two here, in contrast to the Gold Cup later when I’m in 23, and as always I think pace is more important than track position, but obviously I’d have mixed feelings if a low draw turned out to have an advantage!

He’s versatile with regard to going, but good to soft will certainly suit, and his trainer Kevin Philippart de Foy is a talented young trainer, so if I can get him settled and he’s in the form of his York win, he’d have an each-way chance for sure, albeit this is a typically competitive contest.

Ayr 3.00 – Raqiya

It’s a big week coming up for Owen Burrows and the Shadwell team, with Hukum in next weekend’s Arc, so hopefully we can get things rolling with this lovely 2-y-o filly. She’s one we’ve always liked, and progressed from a nice debut run to win at Salisbury, and then she followed up at Haydock earlier this month, when I was at Ascot, so James [Doyle] took over.

This is a step up to Group 3 class, but she has earned that rise, and I’m in no doubt she can take the step up in her stride. As a Shadwell home bred, there’s always more satisfaction to be gained from the good ones, and I can see her being a 3-y-o of some note, that’s how highly we rate her. I’d be disappointed if she’s not winning this.

Ayr 3.35 – Orazio

I rode Orazio in the Coral Stewards’ Cup last month, but like so many runners in that race, he got completely stuck in the Goodwood mud. It was so bad that day the meeting was abandoned after the race! Before that he’d run well to finish sixth in the Wokingham.

Coral Stewards' Cup, Glorious Goodwood, horse racing

His trainer Charlie Hills still has plenty of faith in this horse, and so do I. He could still turn out to be a group race performer, so I can see him winning one of these big sprint handicaps if everything falls right. As I commented earlier, we’re in stall 23, with the likes of Mr Wagyu close by us, so there will be early pace, and one major rival, Juan Les Pins, is a non-runner.

At around 8/1 the field, clearly it’s a wide-open race, but my fellow is the current favourite for a reason. I rode in the Coral Scottish Grand National here. I didn’t manage to win that, so it would be great to win Ayr’s greatest flat race!

Ayr 4.10 – City Burglar

Another ride for Ralph Beckett, this time in the Jeff Smith colours. City Burglar has had just the three runs, but has done enough to earn top weight in this nursery handicap. He’s run well on good to soft, and while top weight won’t make life easy, his yard are flying and he wouldn’t be without a chance in a tricky looking contest.

Ayr 4.45 – Old Smoke

I’m on Old Smoke for the first time, and although he’s just got the one win to his name, he’s run consistently all season. Richard Fahey also runs Outrun The Storm, the choice of stable jockey Oisin Orr, but another solid run from Old Smoke could certainly see him involved in the places.

Ayr 5.20 – Vaynor

I end the day on another for Charlie [Hills]. Vaynor won at Thirsk a couple of weeks ago, that was over a mile and a half but he’s won over this longer trip too, so we know he stays well, and that would give him every chance here.


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Warren Barner