Jim Crowley: “The handicapper hasn’t missed Maydanny but I think he can run well”

Jim Crowley

Coral ambassador previews his Wednesday rides at Royal Ascot

Ascot 13:15 – Maydanny

Day Two of this year’s Royal meeting begins with a new addition, the Silver Hunt Cup, and I have a nice ride in Maydanny. He’s a beautifully bred half-brother to Elarqam, still very lightly raced, and that could be the only inconvenience going into a big field handicap like this on just his fourth start.

But he seems to have improved for being gelded. He won his reappearance well, which wasn’t missed by the handicapper, but I think he’s open to more improvement.

Mark Johnston’s horses are running really well so I don’t see why this horse can’t make another step forward and run well here. As always at Ascot, there will be a lot of talk about the draw in races like this Silver Hunt Cup.

But for me what is much more important is where the pace is in the race. If you’re on a hold up horse you do need horses to take you into the race – that matters more than where you’re drawn.

Ascot 14:25 – Hukum

Hukum is a lovely, gorgeous looking horse, who won his second start last season nicely at Kempton, coming from a long way back that day. He’s been working well at home, and has been away for a racecourse gallop, which could be important coming into a big race like this.

He’s still very unexposed and whether this will come too soon in his career or not we’ll have to see. But he’ll stay this trip well and I do think he’s a very nice horse who could run very well.

Ascot 15:35 – Alrajaa

I won the Royal Hunt Cup on Afaak twelve months ago so I faced another tough choice in this race, going for Alrajaa over last year’s winner. My horse did nothing but improve towards the end of last year, winning four in a row and progressing nicely.

As a result he is carrying top weight here and having his first start of the season. But John Gosden is another trainer to have his horses in tip-top form and his form last year suggested to us that he was a potential Black type horse, which he’ll need to be to carry top weight here.

Having finished first and second in the last two runnings of this race, clearly Afaak is a solid, strong horse and with Cieren Fallon taking three pounds off him, it would be no surprise to see him run another big race here, so once again I have to hope I’ve picked right!

Ascot 16:40 – Almania

My final ride on Day Two is Almania in another new addition to this year’s meeting, the Copper Horse Handicap.

He’s having his first start for David Simcock having switched from Sir Michael Stoute. I rode him in the Dante last season but he ran no sort of race that day.

He’s another having his first run of the season and in an open looking race he could run well. It’s certainly not easy to pick up spare rides at this meeting so I’m looking forward to riding him again.


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