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Crowley aiming to get new job off to a flyer with Ertijaal

Jim Crowley: partners Ertijaal in his first big turf race at Meydan as retained rider to Hamdan Al Maktoum
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5.25 Meydan
Singspiel Stakes | Listed | 1m1f | Turf | 3yo+ | RUK

Thursday is a big day for Britain’s reigning champion jockey Jim Crowley as he makes his first appearance as retained rider to Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Crowley, a carnival regular, partners Ertijaal for his boss in the first big turf race of the season at Meydan, the 1m1f Singspiel Stakes.

Ertijaal, one of three runners for Mike de Kock, was third in the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday last year and then finished well to be fourth in the Dubai Turf on World Cup night, but he has not been seen since disappointing in Hong Kong in April.

Crowley said: “I’m really looking forward to the new job and it’s a great privilege. Richard [Hills] has been helping me with the form of the horses and Ertijaal is clearly a very capable performer.

“I also ride a sprinter by the same name two races earlier for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi.”

In what amounts to one of the starkest ‘watch your bets’ warnings punters could have, the Ertijaal that runs in the 4.15 GMT race was foaled in Ireland; the other Ertijaal was bred in Australia.

De Kock, who also saddles carnival regular Sanshaawes and local debutant Light The Lights, said: “Ertijaal was a Grade 1 Derby winner at home in South Africa and is ready for this seasonal debut after a nice break.

“Sanshaawes is proven here but Light The Lights is a new horse for us and the carnival, so we’re still learning about him.”

Saeed Bin Suroor relies on Silent Attack, the mount of Pat Cosgrave, who is riding in the UAE for the first time since a controversial ban and fine in 2014. Both penalties have now been cleared, enabling him to return to action in the country.

By chance, the horse Cosgrave rode in that 2014 incident, the De Kock-trained Anaerobio, runs in a handicap on the card in which Cosgrave features, on stablemate Mastermind.

Bin Suroor said of Silent Attack: “He won at Newmarket and was very unlucky when second in Turkey. He has been pleasing us and should run well.”

I'm really looking forward to the new job and it's a great privilege
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