188BET Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 15th July 2017

Silvestre de Sousa Blog – Saturday 15th July 2017 

I’ve spent the last two days moaning about the fixture congestion in my blog, so won’t bore you too much more about it today!

As I warned earlier in the week, I thought it was unlikely that I’d ride at Newmarket and that’s proved to be the case as I’m off to Ascot where my best chances are.  Annoyingly, I’ve had to give up some nice rides elsewhere, but it’s just one of those things.

I’ll go through my rides at Ascot below, but will also give you my thoughts on the day’s big races at Newmarket and York…

A busy day at Ascot…

Danzeno – 14:10 Ascot

No ride in the opener, but I’m on Danzeno for Mick Appleby in the valuable five-furlong sprint. He has top weight on the back of another good run when fifth in the Wokingham here last month, so this will be no easy task.

Another small worry with him is the trip, as he hasn’t run over the minimum since last year’s Nunthorpe at York. He’s the class horse in the race though and I’m really looking forward to riding him for the first time in what looks a wide-open contest.

Banditry – 14:40 Ascot

I’m also yet to ride Banditry who I’m on in the next for Ian Williams. The five-year-old won nicely at Newmarket a few weeks ago and comes here in good heart. However, he also has 4lb higher mark which makes things a little tougher.

Laraaib looks the obvious danger on paper, even off nearly a stone rise in the weights. Owen Burrows’ colt is unbeaten in two starts and improving rapidly.

Pattie – 15:15 Ascot

I was on Pattie when she won at Pontefract a few starts back and the ground may just have been a little too fast for her last time. She hasn’t got much weight but there look to be a few classy fillies lurking at the top of the handicap.

I rode Tirania when she was only beaten a neck at Sandown last time and she looks pretty useful. She’ll be hard to beat.

Hathal – 15:50 Ascot

Only seven runners in the Summer Mile where William Haggas’ Mutakayyef will be looking to win the race for the second year on the trot. If the six-year-old lines up in the same form he was in when second to Ribchester in the Queen Anne at the Royal meeting, we are all in trouble.

I ride his stablemate Hathal, who is having his first start since finishing eighth in last year’s QEII Stakes here. He overcame a big absence to win first time out last season, so fitness isn’t necessarily a worry. Whether he is good enough to beat an in-form Mutakayyef has to be a doubt, though.

Laugh A Minute – 16:25 Ascot

Very little form on offer in the two-year-old race where I ride Roger Varian’s newcomer, Laugh A Minute. I’m hugely grateful to him for his continued support this season and I’m privileged to ride such nice horses. He has some lovely juveniles and this son of Mayson is bound to know his job.

Christopher Wood brings winning form to the table, but has a 6lb penalty as a result which makes things tough.

Cape Coast – 17:00 Ascot

I know Mark Johnston’s Cape Coast pretty well as I’ve won on him twice in the last few weeks and he must have a big chance of landing the hat-trick. Obviously this is a much hotter race and he has to shoulder another 6lbs, but he is a horse in form with the winning habit.

There are dangers lurking everywhere, but my eyes are drawn to Melting Dew and Alfarris in particular.

My Dad Syd – 17:35 Ascot

I end a busy day at Ascot with another ride for Ian Williams on My Dad Syd, who has been running consistently well of late without winning. He’s finished in the first four in eight of his last nine starts and wasn’t beaten far at York last month.

He’s gone up another pound for that effort, but I’m hoping he will be bang there at the business end in what looks a wide-open finale.

My Newmarket thoughts…

Bunbury Cup – 15:25 Newmarket

Don’t ask me – this is a typical 20 runner Newmarket handicap with plenty of in-form horses. I rode Bossy Guest in the Royal Hunt Cup last time and he ran better than his finishing position suggests – it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go well again.

If it doesn’t get too quick, Kevin Ryan’s Flaming Spear will be hard to beat. He looked a superstar at Newcastle when last seen back in January.

July Cup – 16:35 Newmarket

I know it’s a bit boring, but I really cannot see beyond Caravaggio again, who did so well to win the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last time. He’s unbeaten in all six races so far now and is a very special horse.

The likes of Harry Angel, Limato and The Tin Man will all keep him honest, though, but I’d be very surprised if he didn’t go in again.

My York thoughts…

John Smith’s Cup – 15:05 York

Big Country returns to action pretty quickly after finishing in mid-division in last weekend’s Old Newton Cup at Haydock. Not many of you will know too much about jockey Raymond Dawson, but he rides well and deserves a nice high-profile ride. I wish him loads of luck with the obvious dangers being Sixties Groove and Ballet Concerto.