Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 19th June 2018

Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Tuesday 19th June 2018   

The first of five days of brilliant racing gets underway at Royal Ascot on Tuesday where I have picked up four nice rides.

My day will begin at home in Newmarket and after riding work locally I will make my way to Ascot so I’m there nice and early. On a big day like this there’s no point in cutting it fine as the traffic always builds up in the area as you get close to lunchtime.

Another benefit of getting to the track early is you can get some physio if you need it and also have plenty of time to prepare. I like to have some time to switch off and after having a good read of the Racing Post I might try and grab a little sleep if I can before racing starts.

There is also a good canteen for us jockeys at Ascot which means we can pick at food whenever we want during the day. I will grab a light sandwich and a coffee at some point.

Anyway, onto the important action…

2.30pm Royal Ascot (Queen Anne Stakes)

No ride for me in a fascinating renewal of the Queen Anne Stakes which I shall watch from the weighing room.

Rhododendron is a worthy favourite after a good win in the Lockinge at Newbury last month, but I fancy the horse she just touched off that day. Lightning Spear finished third to Tepin in this a couple of years ago and I reckon he can go close again.

In fact, his biggest danger could be Godolphin’s Benbatl who will be tough to beat if in the same form he was in out in Dubai.

Vange – 3.05pm Royal Ascot (Coventry Stakes)

My first ride of the meeting comes in the Coventry Stakes for Richard Fahey aboard Vange. It’s great to pick up one for a top yard like his and particularly when they are in such good form.

Vange is a lively outsider who won really nicely when stepped up to this trip at Chester last time. This will require a lot more, but he deserves his spot in the field and hopefully he can go well.

Aidan O’Brien always has to be respected in a race like this and Sergei Prokofiev has had plenty of experience already. However, he will have to be every bit as good as they say he is to beat John Gosden’s Calyx. He looked a potential star in the making when winning at Newmarket 10 days ago and could be a bit special.

3.40pm Royal Ascot (King’s Stand Stakes)

Another race I’ll be watching from the weighing room and another that promises to be a cracker.

Lady Aurelia is bidding for her third Royal Ascot victory and she looks the one to beat if in the same form as 12 months ago.

Charlie Hills’ Battash just seems to be getting better and better but may struggle to stop the US superstar. There is also a slight worry with him as to whether his temperament will hold as he can get very upset.

Chilean – 4.20pm Royal Ascot (St James’s Palace Stakes)

I’m back in action in the next where I ride Chilean for Martyn Meade in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes.

If there is one horse that looks to be crying out for a huge thunderstorm, it’s my mount who has shown all his best form with plenty of cut in the ground. This fast ground doesn’t look ideal and I’d be delighted if he could pick up some prize money.

Looking at the leading contenders and as much as I respect the likes of Romanised and Tip Two Win, I have a feeling that Without Parole may be a bit special. John Gosden has been playing his chances down, but the word from Newmarket is that he’s a Group One horse and I have a feeling he will show it.

Dubawi Fifty – 5.00pm Royal Ascot (Ascot Stakes)

My best chance of a winner on the opening day could well be Dubawi Fifty in the Ascot Stakes.

I finished fourth on him in the 188BET Chester Cup and he showed he goes well in these big staying handicaps when also finishing fourth in last season’s Cesarewitch. He lines up here off the same mark as Chester and is entitled to go well.

Willie Mullins saddles five in an attempt to take the prize home to Ireland again and I reckon his topweight Whiskey Sour may go well under Christophe Soumillon.

Euginio – 5.35pm Royal Ascot (Wolferton Stakes)

Another wide-open contest to end the day where I ride Euginio for Richard Hannon. I think he can definitely outrun his odds as he loves the fast ground and the first-time blinkers may just bring about a bit of improvement.

The trip looks ideal although the draw in stall 14 makes life a little tougher. I will just try and get a decent break and hold a relatively handy position.

There are dangers all over the place with Mirage Dancer and Sharja Bridge the two I fear the most.