Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 18th April 2018

The flat season really feels like it’s getting going now and the ITV cameras are in town for the second day of the Craven meeting. It’s a particularly nice meeting for me as it’s on my doorstep, meaning I don’t have to spend the day in the car! I’ll be riding out at George Scott’s first thing before going home to freshen up and then making my way to the racecourse for four nice rides.

Another Batt – 2.25pm Newmarket (Free Handicap)

I kick-off the day on Another Batt for George [Scott] in what looks a typically competitive renewal of the Free Handicap. He’s a colt I know pretty well as I won a maiden on him at Ripon, before going on to finish eighth in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot. He then went on to run some nice races and rounded of his juvenile campaign with a Group Three win in Turkey. I haven’t sat on him all winter and he was a little disappointing on his return to action at Newcastle. I’m looking forward to sitting back on him first thing in the morning as he stretches and warms up for the race. The drop back to seven furlongs should help and if he can reproduce the best of his two-year-old runs he can be competitive. He won’t have any problems with the ground and I’m hoping he has strengthened up a little.

Altyn Orda  – 3.35pm Newmarket (Nell Gwynn)

One of my best chances of the day is definitely the filly Altyn Orda in the Nell Gwynn. She was beaten in both starts in maiden company last season before stepping up to land the Group Three Oh So Sharp Stakes on her last start. That was a real improvement and Roger Varian looks to have a really smart filly on his hands. Whether she may just need this first start, I’m not sure. Whatever she does, she is bound to improve again next time. Threading and Soliloquy look obvious dangers.

Bubble And Squeak  – 5.20pm Newmarket

I ride Bubble And Squeak in the one mile fillies’ maiden and there isn’t a filly in the field with more experience than her. She has made the frame in all five starts to date and stays plenty further than this. Whatever she lacks in quality, I’m hoping to put her experience to good use and hopefully we can catch a few of these newcomers out. That said, the likes of Sea Of Class, Mythical Queen and Asoof have the potential to be well above average.

Istanbul Sultan  – 5.55pm Newmarket

My final ride of the day is Istanbul Sultan for William Haggas in the last. I don’t get many rides for the yard, but when I do they tend to be fairly decent. I’m thrilled to have been asked to ride this lightly-raced three-year-old who looks just the type the yard do so well with. It’s a really competitive race with the likes of Old Persian and Casey Jones in opposition. However, I’m looking forward to the ride and I’m hoping we can be competitive.