Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 17th May 2018
Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Thursday 17th May 2018
Having missed the opening day of the Dante meeting at York, it’s great to be riding there on day two and also to have a ride in the big race itself – more about that in a bit.
I know I mentioned it last season, but I really do love York and it’s one of my favourite courses to ride at.
Not only is there an unbelievable atmosphere, but it’s a really fair track and the layout means you very rarely get genuine hard-luck stories.
I’ve got two nice rides, which are both on ITV, before jetting off back home to Newmarket to ride at their evening meeting.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on my chances and also on the other races I’m not riding in…
There isn’t a runner in this field in better form than Sheepscar Lad who I ride for Nigel Tinkler in the opener.
It’s a typical wide-open York sprint and if you ran the race 10 times, you could genuinely get 10 different winners. I have ridden him three times in his life and have won once on him and finished second on the other two occasions.
He’s definitely on a roll at the moment having won his last three and here’s hoping he can make it four. I suppose the big issue here is whether the handicapper has caught up with him on or not as he is 16lbs higher than when I won on him at Pontefract last summer.
You can make a strong case out for at least half the others including El Astronaute who will be the one we will all be chasing for most of the race. The question is whether we will be able to get past him.
I’ll be watching this form the weighing room and I reckon Coronet is still the one to beat despite the drop in trip.
She is the best of these on ratings and looks the type of older filly that her trainer John Gosden does so well with.
If there was plenty of rain around, I’d actually be quite bullish about the chances of Merlin Magic who is a really nice colt.
On paper he has to step up, but he won nicely last time and deserves a tilt at a race like this. However, he is definitely at his best with plenty of juice in the ground so this dry weather isn’t ideal for him. I’m still hoping he will go well though in what looks a wide-open race.
Roaring Lion is the obvious one on the back of a good run in the 2000 Guineas but keep an eye out for the unbeaten pair Nordic Lights and Wells Farhh Go, they both look really nice types.
I’ll be in the air on my way to Newmarket whilst the Hambleton Stakes is being run so will only know the winner once I land.
There are 11 runners and it genuinely wouldn’t surprise me if someone told me anyone of them had won – that’s how open the race looks.
For that reason, I’ll pick one from slightly left field who I think will go well and that’s Mythical Madness for David O’Meara. He’s such a shrewd operator and this one will be extremely fit having been busy in recent months.
A decent listed contest where Haddaf looks the one to beat.
He seems to have grown up hugely between two and three and is on a bit of a roll.