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Jim Crowley has landed a treble on Day of Royal Ascot in England. The Ascot born jockey came up trumps landing 14/1, 5/6. And 10/3 winners at the Berkshire venue on Tuesday.
The opening race went in the way of Crowley who beat of W.R Muir and Jack’s Point a 66/1 to claim the honours. Crowley’s chances of winning appeared to be slipping away before the off as his mount Motakhayyel drifted out to 14/1 before the off. However, the Richard Hannon trained horse held on to win in the 23 runner contest. Speaking to Racing TV after the race, trainer Hannon said, “I’m going to be famous for being the first trainer to train a Royal Ascot winner behind closed doors”. Mr Hannon continued, The fact there isn’t 60,000 people here is a massive difference. Maybe there are more at home watching on television than there has been before. Maybe there is more people paying attention than if they were here having a lovely time.
“It is fantastic. What has been a gloomy few months it looks like sport is coming back in the right way and racing is adapting and we are showing we can adapt to new regulations and it is great.Crowley’s second win of the day came aboard Battaash at odds of 5/6. It was the Charles Hills trained horse third time running in this race and it was a case of third time lucky. Jim Crowley put space between the rivals in the contest and when he pushed Battaash he responded. Equilateral managed to pick up second place, with Liberty Beach back in third.
Crowley speaking after the race said to Racing TV said, Crowley said: “I had to hold him for two furlongs as he was on a bit of a going day today and wanting to charge off – my only concern was trying to get the fractions right on him as there was nothing quick enough to lead him. When the gates opened today, he was gone”. He continued, “He’s won the big three now – the King’s Stand, the Abbaye and the Nunthorpe. Hopefully he’s not finished yet – I’m very grateful to be riding him.”
Trainer Charles Hills was over the moon with the win and said, “He broke out of the stalls fantastic and Jim didn’t have much choice but to go forward. He always looked in command and it is a real shame Sheikh Hamdan was not here to witness it, but it is great to finally win a King’s Stand with him”. “You get slightly tense, obviously, but I’ve lived every emotion with him. We’ve been beaten in this race twice before, so three times I don’t think I could have dealt with that. His ace card is pretty much from the two to the one and he gets horses off the bridle. He gets them all going while he is still cruising”.
Asked on future plans for where Battaash will go Hills said Goodwood looks on the cards, stating “he would be extremely proud if he won the King George Stakes (four times)”. Mr Hills said, “At the moment I would say Goodwood would be where we go next and then York. After that we’ll have to speak to Sheikh Hamdan and decide (where we go). “Whether he goes there (Breeders’ Cup) will be Sheikh Hamdan’s decision. We’ll have to see how he gets on in his next couple of races and I’m sure there’ll be a discussion about it”
Jim’s final win of the day came aboard Nazeef for John Gosden at odds of 10/3 completing a fantastic first day and a three timer for Crowley. The Duke of Cambridge stakes placing were Nazeef 1st at 10/3, followed by David O’Meara’s Agincourt at 28/1 in second place and third place going the way of Sir Michael Stoute’s Queen Power with former flat champion Silvestre De Sousa on board at 3/1.
Action continues on Wednesday with the Hampton Court Stakes, King George V Stakes and Prince of Wales Stakes. A superb day of action ahead for sure.