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Jim Crowley: Doncaster preview and big hopes for the season ahead

01 Apr 2023
I’m actually really looking forward to riding at Doncaster this weekend, as it usually clashes with the racing over in Meydan, so I usually miss out on it.

I’ve never won the Lincoln either, so it would be nice to add another big handicap to the collection!

Sadly, the weather has scuppered a lot of our plans this weekend as we had a few horses ready to run who need decent ground, but I still have two good rides to look forward to, and they should both relish the conditions.

15:00 Doncaster – Ehraz

I really like this horse, and he’s by showcasing, so he shouldn’t mind a bit of juice in the ground. He’s worked on good to soft at home, and he’s gone really nicely on it, so I don’t envisage conditions being a problem for him.

He won a small-field race at Newmarket back in October, and although that wasn’t the strongest race, it was more of a confidence booster for him than anything else. He didn’t disgrace himself in top company last season, so the ability is certainly there, and I definitely think he has the potential to become a 110-115 rated horse.

He has a bit to find on ratings with a few of these, but as I say, I do think he has more to come, and providing he does handle the softer ground, then I think he’s capable of running a really big race.

15:35 Doncaster – Wanees

Wanees is a decent horse, and being by Le Havre, he definitely prefers softer ground. He disappointed at Goodwood last season on quick ground, so I’d say the combination of the ground and racing too freely was his downfall that day, but other than that he’s a very consistent performer.

He won a very competitive race at Sandown last year on his reappearance, so we know he’s capable of going well fresh, and we are putting the hood back on him just to try and keep him as relaxed and as calm as possible.

He’ll need a bit of luck from stall 22, but he ran a cracker in the Britannia at Royal Ascot last year, so the big field and strong pace should suit him down to the ground, and he’s more than capable of winning this if he settles into the race.

The season ahead

I always set myself a target of riding 100+ winners at the start of each season, and although I’ve just fallen short the last few years, I’ve got some lovely horses to ride this year, so I’m quietly confident I can get there.

Group 1 winners are obviously what it’s all about, but I’ve yet to win a classic, so I’d love to ride a classic winner if I can this season. I think I’ve placed in every single classic, so it’s not for a lack of trying, but it’s very difficult to win those big races when the likes of Aidan O’Brien are heading over with their big guns.

As I’ve said, I’ve got some really lovely horses to look forward to this season. Hukum is back, who’s a full brother to Baeeed, and he won the Coronation at Epsom in emphatic style last year, so I’m very much looking forward to getting back on board him. Anmaat is another horse I’m looking forward to this season. He won the Prix Dollar at Longchamp back in October, and I think he can have another really good year.

Of the younger horses, Royal Scotsman of Paul & Oliver Cole’s is really exciting us, and he’ll be aimed at the 2000 guineas. I have really high hopes for him, and a similar comment to applies to a horse called Mostabshir, who’s trained by John Gosden. He won on his debut at Kempton in November, and I think we’ll see him in a conditions race over the next few weeks, so he’s certainly one to keep a close eye on.

I can’t wait to properly get cracking, and here’s hoping for another successful season! 

Jim Crowley, Coral Racing Ambassador
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