Jim Crowley: “Mujtaba should have a favourite’s chance”
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley gives us the lowdown on his rides on Chester Cup day on Friday
I didn’t ride at the first two days of the Chester meeting, but this is a great ride to have picked up as my first ride of the week here. Tim Easterby is a top-class trainer and this horse has course and distance winning form, which is always a plus around Chester. He’s only gone up two pounds for winning at Haydock last month, which seems very fair.
We’re drawn in eight, which is perhaps the only slight negative, but they do very quickly from the stalls as jockeys try to get a good position, so we can probably slot in and ride a normal race. I’d be hopeful he goes very close, and could even get the day off to a winning start.
Mujtaba won all three of his starts last season, including a win here, which saw him sent off for this year’s Lincoln. However, he disappointed that day and could have just needed the run.
He’s stepping up in trip here, which I think will suit him, and he’s won on good to soft and soft, so any ease in the ground shouldn’t hinder him. There’s some decent opposition in here, led by Brentford Hope and Lord Protector, but we have a favourite’s chance.
The Chester Cup is a race I’ve been lucky enough to win twice before, and I’ve picked up a lovely ride in it this time around, on board The Grand Visir, who finished second in the race behind Falcon Eight 12 months ago, and we’re better off at the weights with that one this year.
My fellow has run well consistently in these long-distance races, winning an Ascot Stakes as a high point, so he stays extremely well and handles any cut in the ground.
We are drawn in 14, so I will need to get him out and try to grab a good early position, but it is a race that can be won from out wide, so it’s not the end of the world. Ian [Williams] will have him primed for this, and hopefully he can run another big race.
I end the day on another for Ian Williams. Hydroplane will be fit from his hurdling over the winter, he was third in this race last year, and from a great draw in stall two, he would look to have an each-way chance.
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