188BET Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 2000 Guineas & Becoming Champion Jockey | 5th May 2017
188BET Silvestre De Sousa Blog – 5th May 2017
It’s been a really busy week having travelled from Doncaster to Hong Kong and then to Ascot in just a handful of days…
So close but yet so far in Hong Kong…
I came agonisingly close to winning the QEII Cup at Sha Tin aboard Pakistan Star last Sunday. We were only beaten a neck by Neorealism which was really frustrating as I’d have won in another couple of strides.
The race just wasn’t run to suit as the pace slowed right up and it turned into a dash at the end. He ran really well though and he will have his turn sooner rather than later.
Ascot treble put a smile back on my face
It was great to ride three winners at Ascot on Wednesday with Tom Dascombe’s Frozen Angel kicking things off in the opener. He’s a really nice colt and one that connections can start to get excited about.
Prosper dug in well to hold off Icespire, while Sweet Selection carried on from where she left off last season.
Champion Jockey talk a bit premature…
Much is being said and written about this season’s champion jockey title race as things kick-off on Saturday. I was quoted earlier in the week saying that I should be a 100/1 shot and, even though I was being a bit silly, I do think I’m up against it.
If Paul (Hanagan) gets the support in the North that I think he’ll get, he’ll be hard to beat. Don’t forget the reigning champ too! Jim (Crowley) not only rides for one of the most powerful owners around now, he also picks up plenty of other good rides.
Let’s also not discount the likes of Andrea (Atzeni) and Oisin (Murphy) who can both mount challenges if getting on a roll. The truth is that it’s far too early to be speculating as we haven’t even got going yet. By the time we hit late summer, then we should have an idea who may, or may not, be crowned champion.
A Dream ride in the 2000 Guineas…
I’m really looking forward to riding Dream Castle for Saeed bin Suroor in the big one on Saturday (15:35 Newmarket). He ran really well behind Barney Roy in the Greenham and showed so much speed that day.
I read some quotes earlier in the week implying that I think he may just be a seven-furlong horse. Well, just to clarify, I feel he has so much speed that seven-furlong or less may be his best trip. That’s not to say he won’t stay a mile.
The application of a hood will help him and if it turns into a sprint at the end he could be seriously competitive with his turn of foot.
You have to respect Andre Fabre’s Al Wukair who isn’t travelling over to Newmarket for the fun of it, while Eminent looked good in the Craven. In reality, if Churchill has trained-on and is the same horse he was as a two-year-old, we are probably all playing for second place.
The rest of my Newmarket rides on Saturday…
Berkshire – 13:50 Newmarket
The opening race of Guineas weekend and I ride Berkshire for the in-form Paul Cole team. This is his first run in a handicap and don’t forget he was a very good two-year-old who won the Chesham at Royal Ascot and the Royal Lodge at Newmarket. He won the Darley Stakes the following season but has somewhat lost his way since then. If he can roll back the years he could be competitive here but it will be hard work against the likes of Ballet Concerto and Next Stage.
Priceless – 14:20 Newmarket
A really competitive renewal of the Palace House Stakes where I’ve picked up the ride on Priceless for Clive Cox. She looked very speedy at Bath last month and will certainly handle the fast ground. I rode her when she won at Doncaster last season and she is an exciting prospect. Whether she is quite ready to mix it with the best of these remains to be seen, but she doesn’t lack gears. You have to respect Aidan’s (O’Brien) Washington DC, while the ground has come right for Muthmir too.
Pinzolo – 14:55 Newmarket
Only a small field for the Jockey Club Stakes where I ride Pinzolo who looks up against it.
He wasn’t knocked about when beaten at Lingfield last time and this trip will be more in his favour. However, he has his work cut out against the likes of Seventh Heaven and Across The Stars.
Danielsflyer – 16:10 Newmarket
It won’t be easy for Danielsflyer on his first start of the campaign on ground that will be plenty quick enough for him. I rode Victory Angel when he won here last month and he is a very smart colt who will take some catching.
Speedo Boy – 16:45 Newmarket
Only the five runners for the Newmarket Stakes, but it looks wide open. I ride Speedo Boy who won well last time in France on bad ground, so the fast conditions must be a concern.
He is also burdened with a penalty for that win which makes life even tougher against horses like Permian and Night Circus.
High Acclaim – 17:20 Newmarket
My final ride of the day comes on High Acclaim for Roger Teal in the finale. He’s a nice horse who will be fit having had two runs already this season. However, this is a hot race and he may struggle to beat Son Of The Stars who has a big reputation.