Jim Crowley: Lots to look forward to with returning pair
Jockey and Coral ambassador Jim Crowley discusses the chances of his two rides at Newmarket on Saturday.
I go to Newmarket’s July course for the first time this season, for two rides on horses that are both coincidentally returning from long breaks of 420 days, and both are Shadwell geldings trained by William Haggas.
Al Aasy finished second in a Coronation Cup two summers ago, and is a three-time Group Three winner, so he’s always been a horse I liked. He was gelded after he finished second in the Princess Of Wales’s in 2021, and his two runs that season following the gelding op were disappointing, but after a 200-day break he came out last May and won a Listed race at Ascot.
Unfortunately, he then suffered a setback that has kept him off until now, but as a gelding we have nothing to lose by going again with him, and although he’s been called a few names in his time, he undoubtedly has some ability.
Good ground should be perfect for him, I’m sure he’ll improve for this run, and he’s entered in the Princess Of Wales’s again, which could be a target if this goes well. I’m looking forward to getting back on him.
I didn’t ride Al Aasy when he won at Ascot last May, because on that same afternoon I was at Haydock, winning a Listed race on Aldaary! That turned out to be his last run until now, but he was another smart horse before his injury, winning the big handicap on Champions Day among other victories.
He’s another I really liked, and is a smart horse, who again has been kept in training as he’s a gelding. He was involved in a piece of work at Chelmsford racecourse that was an early indicator of Baaeed’s brilliance, so he’s also important to me for his part in that great story!
He’s favourite to win this, and while he’s another who will improve for the comeback run, and would appreciate any further rain, he’s talented enough to do himself justice here, and like Al Aasy, can hopefully take his place in the squad of older horses Shadwell have got this season.