Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 14th July 2018

Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Saturday 14th July 2018      


Let’s start with the Word Cup and I cannot believe it all comes to an end on Sunday night – what a great tournament it’s been. It was hard work watching England on Wednesday night and it all came down to those two or three missed chances. They had Croatia beaten at one point and just needed that second goal. It was a great effort to get to the semi-finals, though, and Gareth Southgate has done a great job. I suppose France will go on and lift the trophy now as they looked very good against Belgium the other night. I’m looking forward to watching it at home with the family.

As for Saturday’s racing, it’s an unbelievable day with top quality action at Newmarket, Ascot and York. It’s a day that has come in for criticism in the past as there is a view that the July Cup, Summer Mile and John Smith’s Cup shouldn’t clash from three different tracks on the same afternoon. It is frustrating from a personal point of view, as I miss out on the chance of riding the John Smith’s Cup favourite Dash Of Spice as I cannot be at Ascot and York at the same time. It is what it is though and the positive is that it gives some more jockeys a chance on the big stage. I have six nice rides at Ascot…

Green Power – 12:45pm Ascot

A typical wide-open sprint handicap to kick things off at Ascot where I ride Green Power for John Gallagher. He’s a lightly-raced three-year-old in against some old-seasoned pros and it will be a tough task. He has run well on both his last starts, though, and seems to be improving. Whether he can win this, I’m not so sure but we will give it our best shot. Major Jumbo is respected after another good run in the Wokingham, as is last year’s runner-up Polybius.

Trais Fluors – 1:20pm Ascot (Summer Mile)

The big race of the day at Ascot and I’m thrilled to be riding Trais Fluors for Andre Fabre. If he can recapture some of his best form from last year, he looks the one to beat. Don’t forget that this time 12 months ago he was second in the Group One Prix Jean Prat. Things haven’t gone so well this year to date, although his second last time at Chantilly was a big step in the right direction. He is trained by a genius of a trainer, so if anyone can bring him back to his best it’s Andre Fabre. There are dangers aplenty including Beat The Bank, Century Dream and Lord Glitters who all ran well here in the Queen Anne.

Escape The City – 2:25pm Ascot

It was a hell of a run from Escape The City in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot last time, and I’m looking forward to riding Hughie Morrison’s filly here. She finished third that day when a massive outsider and has to be a leading player off just a 2lb higher mark if in the same mood.

Extra Exclusive – 3:05pm Ascot

My best chance of riding a winner at Ascot looks to be Extra Elusive for Roger Charlton. Unbeaten in his two starts to date, he remains a really exciting prospect who might still be better than his handicap mark of 86 implies. He’s in at the deep end here, but I have every reason to believe he’s up to it.

Elegiac – 3:35pm Ascot

Another smallish field for the 12-furlong handicap where I ride Elegiac for Mark Johnston. He’s only lightly-raced and won nicely at Hamilton last time having run okay at the Royal meeting before that. The handicapper has bumped him up another 3lbs which will make things tougher, but I’m hopeful.

Plunger – 4:10pm Ascot

Finally, I ride Plunger for Paul Cole in the last race before heading off to Salisbury. He’s only had the four career starts and hasn’t added to his debut win at Kempton in April last year. He hasn’t run badly in three starts since and may have just needed the run at Newmarket last time. He wears blinkers for the first time and there are definite grounds for optimism.

It’s a big day elsewhere and here are my thoughts on some of the day’s other feature races…

2:15pm Newmarket (July Cup)

This looks a brilliant race on paper and I think Blue Point is still the one they all have to beat. It was a hell of a performance to get the better of Battaash at Ascot and he’s a sprinter at the top of his game. As for the others, I fancy Limato to bounce back and give the favourite the most to think about on his favoured fast ground over this more suitable trip.

3:40pm York (John Smith’s Cup)

Even though I am not there to partner him, I will be cheering on Dash Of Spice from Ascot as he attempts to land a memorable hat-trick. I was on him at both Epsom on Derby Day and at Royal Ascot and he just seems to be getting better with every run. He showed nothing at Ascot last time to suggest he isn’t still improving and it will take a really good one to beat him.