188BET Silvestre De Sousa Blog | Royal Ascot Day 4 | 23rd June 2017
Silvestre De Sousa Blog | Royal Ascot Day 4 | 23rd June 2017
Two more days to go here at Royal Ascot and thankfully the weather conditions have dramatically improved and it’s cooled down at last. The first two days were really hard work in that heat and it was exhausting.
In fact, on Wednesday I had a gap between races and managed to sneak off into a quiet room at the back of the weighing room and have a sleep for about 25 minutes.
I’m pretty lucky that I can just switch off like that. As I said earlier in the week, I treat this meeting like any other and don’t feel the pressure like some do.
Starlight Mystery – 14:30 Albany Stakes
My first ride on the penultimate day is Starlight Mystery for Mark Johnston in what looks a fiercely competitive Albany Stakes. She will have to improve again to trouble the likes of Alpha Centauri,
Fairyland and Clemmie, but there isn’t a filly in the field with more experience. She was beaten on soft ground at Newbury by a good colt and will be a lot tougher than plenty of these.
Frankuus – 15:05 King Edward VII Stakes
I’m on another one for Mark Johnston in the next where I partner Frankuus in the King Edward VII Stakes. The son of Frankel managed to win three times as a two-year-old, but has found life a bit tougher a year on.
He wasn’t beaten far by Cunco at Sandown and then could only finish fourth in the Lingfield Derby Trial. A return to a more conventional track will help but he’s in against some pretty smart types. Crystal Ocean really impressed me in the Dante at York and is the one we all have to beat.
Victory Angel – 15:40 Commonwealth Cup
Arguably the race of the meeting with super talented three-year-olds Caravaggio, Harry Angel and Blue Point all going head-to-head. When you also throw US raider Bound For Nowhere into the mix, you have the makings of one hell of a race.
I’m on Victory Angel who has to bounce back from a disappointing showing at Newmarket last time. He looks a little out of his depth here, but we will give it our best shot. If I can finish in front of any of the four mentioned above I’d be delighted. The reality is that Aidan O’Brien’s Caravaggio should be very hard to beat.
16:20 Coronation Stakes
No ride for me in the feature race, but it looks at the mercy of Aidan O’Brien again who saddles Winter. Like Churchill, she won both the English and Irish Guineas, so there has to be a worry that she could bomb out like he did on Tuesday. On all known form she is head and shoulders above these and should win again.
Time To Study – 17:00 Queen’s Vase
The Queen’s Vase is now run over 1m 6f rather than two miles and I’ve got my best chance of the week so far aboard Time To Study for Mark Johnston. The London Gold Cup at Newbury often throws up a few nice horses and this fellow finished a good third there over an inadequate trip.
He then landed a valuable prize over this trip at Musselburgh last time on Derby Day and comes here in good form. It’s hard to be confident in a race like this with some big yards all represented, but I’m hopeful.
Wadigor – 17:35 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
Good rides come along like buses! I’m really excited to have been asked to ride the unbeaten Wadigor for Roger Varian in the last. He has won twice on the all-weather now, including last time at Kempton, but showed at Newmarket he is just as effective on the turf. He’s gone up another 8lbs for his latest success but is improving all the time and should be competitive.