Jim Crowley: Lester was the greatest and his records will never be matched
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley previews his rides at Epsom
It’s going to be a poignant weekend at Epsom following the sad passing of Lester Piggott.
Lester was the greatest, simple as that, and in the same bracket as the likes of Pele, [Diego] Maradona, [Muhammad] Ali, Tiger [Woods], a true sporting great.
He set standards that all jockeys since try to aspire to and he set records that will last forever.
Reading his list of achievements reminded you of just how extraordinary his career was and as far as Epsom was concerned he really was the king.
To ride nine Derby winners, along with all the other big winners, was just incredible.
The @CazooUK Derby will be run this year in memory of record nine-time winning jockey, Lester Piggott.
— Epsom Downs Racecourse (@EpsomRacecourse) May 30, 2022
He had the knack of getting on the right horses of course but given his record, which owner wouldn’t want Lester riding for them?
I never rode against Lester but I was fortunate enough to meet him several times. He was a lovely, charming man, he didn’t say much, but what he did say was well worth listening to.
My thoughts are with his loves ones, what is for certain is that his memory will live on forever.
I start Oaks day on Revich in this competitive mile handicap.
A 6-y-o now, as a 3-y-o he beat Sir Busker here over seven furlongs, so we know he handles the track.
He signed off last season with a win at Ayr and was an unlucky third at Chester on his most recent start.
He goes on good to soft so we have no ground worries, stall six is a decent draw, and I’d be hopeful of a big run from him.
Hukum is one of my favourites and having just been pipped by Pyledriver on Al Aasy in this race 12 months ago, I owe the favourite one!
We’ve won several Group 3s, and a Group 2, so it would be lovely to make him a Group 1 winner for the team.
Pyledriver was three places ahead of us in the Sheema Classic and deserves to be favourite here but second favourite Manobo is dropping back in trip which is not certain to suit him.
My fellow is always very consistent, he’s simple to ride, I can go forward on him if need be, or we can take a lead if they go fast early on.
He also won’t mind any cut in the ground at all, having bolted up at Ascot on soft ground last year.
Pyledriver won’t be easy to beat but I’m looking forward to having another crack at him.
I think Kawida could easily outrun her big odds in the Cazoo Oaks.
As a 2-y-o she finished ahead of With The Moonlight twice and the Godolphin filly is a much shorter price here while the form of her Saint-Cloud third in April was boosted by the winner, Place Du Carrousel, finishing second in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary last weekend.
I also think a step up to a mile and a half will be in my filly’s favour and she has no ground concerns.
Emily Upjohn has looked good in winning all three of her career starts so far but she did pull very hard early on at York while second favourite Nashwa looks classy but needs to prove she stays.
After that pair it all looks very open and while I’m not saying Kawida can win, I do think she has an each-way chance.
I’ve not ridden Big Narstie before but we’re drawn well in stall one and he won’t have any issues with good to soft.
He’s got the visor on for the first time and if that can bring about some improvement he could have an each-way chance.
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