Silvestre De Sousa: 188BET Newmarket Blog
I am delighted 188BET have agreed to sponsor me for the upcoming season, meaning I will not only be wearing their logo while riding, but also providing you with an exclusive blog. They are a really exciting global betting brand and I’m thrilled they have signed me as an ambassador. Each week I’ll be giving you my thoughts on my weekend rides, but I’ll also post blogs each day of the midweek big meetings, too. Anyway, today is the final day of Newmarket’s Craven meeting and I’ve got six really nice rides. It’s particularly special to be putting on some of racing’s most famous silks today and I’m honoured to be riding for both Godolphin and Sheikh Hamdan on the same card this afternoon.
Victory Angel – 1.50pm Newmarket
My first ride of the day is for Roger Varian in what looks a really competitive 3yo handicap. I don’t know too much about Victory Angel other than he won nicely on his final start as a 2yo at Doncaster when we last saw him in action. I suppose the real positives are that he is proven on a sound surface and his stable have started the season in great form. He doesn’t have much weight here as he starts life in handicaps off a mark of just 81, so I’m hoping he can go really well.
Qeyaadah – 2.25pm Newmarket
On paper Qeyaadah has plenty to do on his first start for Michael Appleby since leaving Ed Dunlop. There may only be seven runners in the field, but you can genuinely make a case for any of them. My horse has bits of form that throw him right into the mix here and one thing I can assure you is that he won’t lack for fitness as he has done plenty over the winter. I suppose it just depends on how race ready the likes of Tabarrak and Accession are.
Benbati – 3.35pm Newmarket
I’m really excited about riding Benbati in the Craven Stakes for Saeed bin Suroor as he looks a really exciting prospect and will improve again for this run. He didn’t race as a 2yo and made a spectacular start to his racing career earlier this month when bolting up in his Doncaster maiden. That form obviously is a long way below what the others bring to this race, but he couldn’t have been any more impressive than he was. I sat on him last week and he gave me a lovely feel. He really does have that brush of star quality and we will learn more about him today. Whether he is battle-hardened enough yet against the likes of War Decree and Rivet, only time will tell.
Tomyris – 4.10pm Newmarket
Again, it’s really nice to pick up another ride for Roger Varian in the fillies’ maiden. I don’t know too much about Tomyris other than she made a really pleasing debut at Kempton back in November. That looked a really good race on paper and she wasn’t beaten far in a bunched finish. I mentioned earlier that the yard are in good form and she must be showing something at home to warrant starting the season here.
Mafaaheem – 4.45pm Newmarket
Not many jockeys get the chance to wear both the famous all blue silks of Godolphin and the blue and white stripes of Sheikh Hamdan in their career, let alone in the same afternoon, so it’s an honour to be asked to ride Mafaaheem. He didn’t set the world on fire as a 2yo in a couple of starts at Newbury and Kempton, but with another winter behind him, he is entitled to have come on again for that as he matures. I suppose the thing about a maiden like this at Newmarket is that you could be bumping into a potential star, that’s always the worry.
Rock N Roll Global – 5.20pm Newmarket
My first ride for former weighing room colleague Richard Hughes! Rock N Roll Global hit the frame on his last start at Kempton back in February and has been gelded since. I’m looking forward to getting my riding instructions from Mr Hughes in the paddock! In all seriousness though, Richard has made a really good start to his training career, sending out plenty of winners and its really nice to be asked to ride one for him.