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Paris (AFP) – Jim Crowley would not “swap” his ride on Hukum for any of his 14 rivals in the “world’s most prestigious flat race”, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, he told AFP.

Hooked — Jim Crowley told AFP no matter the offer he would stick with Hukum for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe having ridden him in all 17 of his races.
The 45-year-old English jockey is as seasoned a campaigner as Hukum, who he has ridden in all 17 of his races, finishing outside the first four on only two occasions.
Hukum would be the first six-year-old to win the race and the oldest since seven-year-old Motrico in 1932.
After being injured after winning the Coronation Cup in 2022, Hukum returned this year to add two more Group 1 races to his laurels, The Lockinge Stakes and, under an inspired ride by Crowley, The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
That race cost Crowley a 20-day ban for overuse of the whip as he fought out a thrilling duel with Rob Hornby on Westover, who also features on Sunday at Longchamp.
“I respect the opposition but in all honesty I would not be swapping him for another horse in the race,” he told AFP.
“He ticks all the boxes, there are no negatives.
“Some people think he is not quite good enough, perhaps because he has not won a classic, but he has proved them wrong in his last three starts. He stays very well and has a turn of foot.”
Crowley, who was champion jockey in 2016, experienced the low of finishing last in the 2022 Arc which took place in torrential rain.
This time round the sun is forecast to shine and he expects to be involved in the business end as well as having Westover on his shoulder again.
‘Arc is THE race’
He also likes the French Derby winner Ace Impact, although it will be the first time the three-year-old will take on older horses.
“He (Hukum) is a character, absolutely, in a good way,” said Crowley, whose one concern will be being drawn on the wide outside, 14 of 15.
“He is a very tough, genuine horse, he gives his all. I don’t fear anything but I fully respect Westover.
“Ace Impact is very good but he is entering deep waters, he is in with the big boys now. It is a step up for him.
“There are plenty of good horses which is what it should be but there have been Arcs in the past won by horses who no one ever expected to be contenders. It pays to respect all the opposition.”
Crowley is full of praise also for Hukum’s trainer Owen Burrows, who like him is a former jumps jockey.
“What a way to showcase your talent!” said Crowley.
“Hukum has felt even better than before he was injured.”
Crowley has won many prestigious races since he made the move to switch to the flat from the jumps in 2004 despite “9 out of 10” people telling him he would not make it.
“I had a little bit of an ‘Up yours’ attitude,” he said.
“I had one eye on training in the future and I thought it would be valuable experience to learn.”
Crowley concedes the “camaraderie of the jumps jockey weighing room” is better.
“At the time I thought flat racing is for sissies,” said Crowley.
However, given the passage of time his opinion has changed.
“Now I am washing in different water,” he says laughing.
The water may turn into champagne should he and Hukum pass the post first on Sunday in front of around 30,000 spectators.
“The Arc is THE race, I mean for any jockey,” he said.

“Every jockey wants to win the world’s most prestigious flat race in the world. It would be great to win it.”