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Jim Crowley sets sights on more Series glory

5 Apr 2018

The 2016 champion jockey is relishing being reunited with such as Elarqam, Battaash and Tasleet.

Elarqam QIPCO 2000 Guineas

Elarqam and Crowley before The Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket. Picture:

Jim Crowley has set his sights on more QIPCO British Champions Series glory this year.

Horses ridden by Crowley in the Series in 2016, when he was crowned champion jockey, accumulated only £5,400 in prize-money. But it was a very different story last year when he rode the winner of three races and was placed in nine others, with his mounts earning £2,653,905.

Crowley hopes to pick up from where he left off with success aboard the Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5 – the first race of this year’s Series.

Crowley guided the unbeaten son of Frankel to victory in a Group Three on the Rowley Mile on his final start in September, with the Sheikh Hamdan-owned colt, a 1.6 million-guinea purchase, having been victorious on his debut under Dane O’Neill at York earlier that month.

“Hopefully Elarqam is something to look forward to this year,” he said. “I think the three-year-olds look a very good bunch, as the two-year-olds looked quite strong at the end of the season.

“When you have got that pedigree and price tag, there is always going to be a little bit of anticipation of the horse living up to the hype.

“He is a lovely horse and has got a great temperament. He did what I thought he would do at Newmarket last time out and the form has worked out nicely with winners coming out of it.”

He added: “He went through the gears nicely at Newmarket and you can only ask for that. It is quite a big positive that he handles the Rowley Mile. He seemed very well balanced last year and his style of racing suits Newmarket.

“I’ve hit the crossbar a couple of times in Classic races and now the aim is to win one, but they are never easy.”

Crowley is also relishing being reunited with the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash in the top sprints.

“Sheikh Hamdan has had some very good sprinters over the years and he is special,” the rider said. “He has got lots of speed and is just naturally very fast.

“I’ve sat on him a few times at home and he is getting more relaxed. Like I’ve said before, riding him up the gallops is like riding a motorbike.”

Crowley has another top speedster to look forward to in the William Haggas-trained Tasleet.

He said: “He has been a fantastic servant. He was so unfortunate not to win a Group One after finishing second in three of them last year.

“He did win the Duke Of York. He is a proper six-furlong horse that likes a bit of cut in the ground. He was so close to winning a Group One last year, so it would be lovely for him to get his head in front in one this year.”