Crowley living the dream

Jim Crowley says "it would mean everything" if he could win the Stobart Flat jockeys' championship.

Jim Crowley: Living the dream

An unconsidered 40-1 shot in the spring, the former jumps jockey has been the surprise package in this year's title race and is now odds-on to dethrone current champion Silvestre de Sousa.

"It's good fun at the moment," Crowley told At The Races.

"I'm enjoying it and getting on some nice horses and they're winning. I hope it keeps going.

"I probably thought about it (the championship) seriously just after Goodwood.

"I had a couple of winners at Windsor one night. It had been a good week and my agent said, 'Do you want to give it a go?', and I said, 'Yes, let's give it a kick'.

"I didn't think I'd be in this position in the first couple of years I switched to the Flat, but, as time has gone and I'd ridden a lot more winners, things became a little more realistic.

"At the start of the season, it (winning the title) was something I wanted to do. I just made a slow start, but, as time has gone on, things have really picked up well.

"I honestly don't know if I'm going to do it. All I can do is just carry on what I'm doing and ride as many winners as I can. If it goes our way, brilliant. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

"It's every jockey's dream to be champion. Every jockey at some point wants to do it. I'm sure all the other guys in the weighing-room feel the same. It would mean everything.

"There's been so many trainers who have helped me. Obviously, Hugo Palmer has been a massive supporter, my old boss Ralph Beckett, my sister-in-law Amanda Perrett – they've been very good – and Jeremy Noseda.

"There's been lots of trainers, big and small, who have helped me along the way. It's been really good.

"I'll give it my all. That's all you can do."

Five things you might not know about Jim Crowley

1 Crowley was born near Ascot racecourse, where his parents trained point-to-pointers and reared him on a diet of hunting and show jumping.

2 His first two jobs were with trainers John White and Ron Hodges and though he first made an impression as an amateur on the Flat, he soon switched his attention to jumping when attached to Grand National-winning trainer Sue Smith's West Yorkshire stable.

3 Crowley's only ride in the Grand National did not last very long. His mount, Art Prince, trained by Martin Pipe, fell at the first fence in the 2001 Aintree spectacular, won by Red Marauder.

4 After riding around 300 winners over obstacles, he switched to the Flat. His first job was for his sister-in-law, Amanda Perrett, before signing as stable jockey to Ralph Beckett in 2010. He has been freelance since August 2014.

5 He opened his British Group One account on Robert Cowell's Prohibit in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011, but he is still seeking his first domestic Classic after two second-placed finishes in 2013 on Secret Gesture in the Investec Oaks and Talent in the Ladbrokes St Leger.

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