Jim Crowley: “I’ll be gutted if Al Aasy is beaten here”
Coral ambassador previews his rides at Newmarket on Thursday
We won this race with Al Aasy 12 months ago, and have another nice contender this time around. I’ve not ridden Mandoob in either of his two starts to date, but he’s won them both nicely, hitting the line well on both occasions, which suggests he should see out this 1 mile 5 furlong trip OK.
It was good to firm when he won at Haydock last time, so the ground will be fine, and although he’s already a gelding and therefore not a St Leger horse, I know Brian Meehan likes him a lot, so it’s an exciting first ride of the day.
I ride Jadhlaan in the July Stakes. He started the season with a third place behind Project Dante at York, and that one is favourite here following a third at the Royal meeting.
My fellow then got stuck in the mud at Haydock, before going back to York where he appreciated a better surface to win well, so top of the ground here will suit.
As I say, we take on Project Dante again, while the likes of Eldrickjones and Ebro River bring decent Royal Ascot form here also, but hopefully my fellow could run into the places here.
Although he’s odds-on favourite for this, this won’t be a gimme for Al Aasy. He ran a big race at Epsom, although I was disappointed to be beaten [by Pyledriver in the Coronation Cup], but it was a big step up in class after two easy victories at Newbury against lesser company, and I’m not sure he was entirely comfortable on the Epsom camber.
It was still a big step forward for him, and hopefully he can get back to winning ways here on route to a run in the King George in a couple of weeks, although he’ll need to win well here for that. Epsom was his first proper race, and I think he’ll come forward again for that, to be honest I’ll be gutted if he gets beaten here.
Another nice ride for Shadwell, Baaeed has also won his two starts this season, following up his Leicester maiden win with a runaway victory here at the July course last month.
He’s a half-brother to our Royal Ascot winner Hukum, although he’s a quicker horse than that one, and so the mile here is perfect for him at this stage. This is a classy looking heat, but Baaeed is a very exciting prospect and I’d hope he’d go close.