Jim Crowley: “Picking Anmaat was a straightforward choice”
Coral ambassador previews his three rides at Newmarket on Saturday
With no rain around and a bit of a breeze, the ground at Newmarket is drying out all the time so it should be riding nice and quick on Saturday. I start the day on Alwajd in the first division of the fillies’ maiden. She ran quite green on her debut at Salisbury last month and I’d expect her to come on for that run. She still gave me a nice feel that day so I hope she’s a nice sort for the future.
It was a fairly straightforward choice to pick Anmaat over Montather. Anmaat won on quick ground at Doncaster recently, he’s a lovely big horse but he bounces off a quick surface well. He’s got what looks a lovely racing weight here, we’re drawn in 22, which I hope puts us on the right side.
There’s always talk of needing a group horse in the making to win these big handicaps and obviously that would help, but I’m not sure it’s altogether true. What’s more important is having a nice weight and getting that all-important luck in running. Clearly if you’re on a classy horse you’re more likely to get out of any trouble you might encounter, but I do think having a well-handicapped horse is the biggest factor.
I’ve been lucky enough to win this race before, on Credit Swap 11 years ago. It is a cavalry charge and we’ll need things to fall right for us, but I do think my fellow is still progressing, certainly more so than Montather. That one’s drawn on the opposite side, in two, although he is a nice horse in his own right, and it would be no surprise to see him run a big race.
We run two in the second division of the fillies’ maiden, both of them unraced. I’ve chosen Al Husn over Bint Elmalek. Her trainer Roger Varian has a decent record in this race, my filly is a half-sister to Moshaawer – who was second in the Melrose at York last month – and she’s been pleasing us at home, although Bint Elmalek has too. Hopefully we’ll learn plenty about both fillies here with an eye to the future.
When it’s their first day at school, so to speak, you just don’t know how they’ll take to it. Some horses are great at home but don’t show it on the track, while others are the opposite. What we do know about our pair is they’re both nicely bred and in the right hands to progress from this first run.