Yarmouth racing preview: Jim Crowley looking to hit Yarmouth for four in season opener
PUBLISHED: 16:10 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:10 24 April 2017
Champion jockey Jim Crowley has four excellent chances to mark the start of Great Yarmouth's 2017 racing season with a win this afternoon.
Crowley, a surprise winner of the jockey’s crown last year after a thrilling tussle with Silvestre de Sousa, could take the opening race of the 24-meeting season on the east coast when he rides Mooltazem for trainer John Gosden in the 1.40pm maiden over a mile.
Gosden has been in sensational early season form, and Mooltazem is one of seven debutants in the 15-runner field.
Main rivals are fellow newcomers Stormy Blues, Adam Kirby riding for Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby and Hakeem, an Exceed and Excel colt under Dane O’Neill for William Haggas.
Crowley partners Owen Burrows’ Mohatem in the 2.45pm Ted Pennell 66th birthday handicap at 2.45pm although likely favourite is David Lanigan’s Wapping, second at Lingfield last time, under Tom Queally.
Crowley’s other two main chances are later in the day. In the 4.25pm handicap he rides Wurood for Haggas, the grey filly a Wolverhampton all-weather winner at the end of March.
Blue on Blue under Robert Tart for Gosden and Derek Duval, Pat Cosgrave riding for Stuart Williams, a Wolverhampton winner in March, are key rivals.
In the finale at 5pm, Crowley has Etikaal for Simon Crisford, a gelding sixth at York in October although his main challenger may be Trick of the Light.
Andrea Atzeni rides the Roger Varian trained gelding, a Nottingham winner in September.
Atzeni rides for Robert Eddery in the 3.50pm mile handicap, partnering Ross Raith Rover, a Lingfield winner in January. A key rival is the De Sousa mount, trained by Williams, Flying Fantasy, third at Lingfield on Thursday.
The 3.15pm five-furlong sprint sees two young claimers in with chances. David Egan rides favourite Hurricane Alert, a Chelmsford runner-up a fortnight ago while George Wood claims five pounds for trainer Alan Bailey on Strictly Carter, fourth at Wolverhampton in March, having won there a month earlier.
Only three go in the second race, the 2.10pm maiden over 11 furlongs, favourite for which is the Karl Burke trained Testbourne under Clifford Lee. The Big Bad Bob gelding was runner-up at Redcar a fortnight ago.