Jim Crowley: “Mostahdaf is very much a horse on the up”
Coral ambassador previews his three rides at Newmarket on Saturday
The form of Alflaila’s second at York two runs ago looks decent, but for being drawn wide that day I think we’d have won. He then ran OK when fourth in a Listed race at Doncaster, so he does need to step up to figure here.
We’re also stepping him up a furlong to a mile for the first time, on breeding [a son of Dark Angel] he may not look as if he needs that trip, but on the feel he’s given me, I think he’ll get the mile. If that does bring out some improvement, I’m not saying he can win here, as that would be tough, but I can certainly see him being placed.
I ride for Paul Nicholls in the Cesarewitch, he’s a trainer I rode for over jumps back in the day, so it’s great to be teaming up with him once again. In these big staying handicaps, being on a horse trained by a jumps trainer is usually a big plus and, as jumps trainers go, Paul’s quite a good one!
Scaramanga won well at Newbury on his first run on the Flat this summer, but he then disappointed at York. He was ridden positively that day, so maybe I’ll be a little bit more patient, which will hopefully help him get home over this longer trip. It’s a race I’ve yet to win, and while it’s a typically competitive renewal, I’ve got the right man on my side, and it would be special to tick it off my list.
My final ride of the day is Mostahdaf, a well-bred half-brother to our dual Group One winner from last year, Nazeef. He’s won four of his five starts this season, and while he may not have beaten very much in those four victories, he’s done it nicely and given me a lovely feel each time.
He’s stepping up a furlong here which I think will be a real plus, and he’s been in good form at home. He’s a horse very much on the up, while some of his rivals here are fully exposed, we know how good they are. My fellow is a lovely strong type, he’s my best chance of a winner on the day, and I’m very much looking forward to this.