Jim Crowley: Hopefully I’ve saved the best until last
Jockey and Coral ambassador Jim Crowley discusses the chances of his five rides at Newbury on Saturday.
I was a little bit disappointed with Al Aasy’s comeback run at Newmarket, he had been off for a long time and the race suited those on the front end that day, but even so, he will need to show much more here. At his best, we know how good he can be, but that was some time ago.
In his favour, I do think the drop back to 10 furlongs will suit him, he’s a strong traveller who doesn’t necessarily find much off the bridle, so two furlongs less than Newmarket should help. I just hope he can recapture that best form, as Highland Avenue won’t be easy to beat here.
I won at Chester on this fellow two runs ago, and then a combination of a steady pace, a wide draw and quicker ground maybe found him out at Royal Ascot, so any rain here would be in his favour. For a five-year-old, I think he’s still quite unexposed, so a decent run here with an each-way chance is quite possible.
I thought Ehraz ran well at Doncaster last time on very heavy ground, but we’ve not seen him since then until now. He’s got the blinkers on for the first time, which could well help him, as he’s undoubtedly a talented horse who we just haven’t got to the bottom of yet. He’s versatile in terms of ground, has plenty of pace, and if it all clicks for him, I have no doubt he’s a smart horse with more to come.
This filly is one of seven for Richard Hannon, a trainer and yard who has always done well in this big prize. Ziggy’s Phoenix was a winner at Chester back in May, her second win of the year, and she’s run well in Listed company in France since. We’ve seen big-priced winners of this race before and, as I say, anything this yard runs in this has to be respected, so she could easily outrun her odds.
My best chance of the day comes in the last. Rowayeh has won at Beverley and Sandown, she won’t mind what ground it is, the mile trip is perfect and a 5lb rise doesn’t look too harsh. There are a few in-form fillies in this, but mine is one of them, and I’d be disappointed if we don’t go close.