Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 19th May 2018

Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Saturday 19th May 2018   

I will be at Newbury on Saturday for their prestigious Lockinge meeting and all the talk in the build-up seems to be about whether there will be another mass brawl like we have seen at Goodwood and Ascot recently. It really is such a shame that such madness seems to be getting more coverage than the racing itself.

Take the Lockinge for example. It is one of the best fields I can remember with 16 runners and I have seen very little mentioned about it. Plenty have an opinion about why people fight and how to stop them, and for what it is worth I’ll add mine. Racecourses have a responsibility on the quantities of alcohol they serve, but the policing of these big (and often drunk crowds) is the key.

The videos of all the fighting that are doing the rounds on social media show the odd steward trying to break things up. In the Goodwood example there is a man in his 60s or 70s wearing a panama hat. What chance has he got of stopping a fight. None.

The key is we need more policemen on our racecourses and the presence of uniforms will ensure the crowds behave. The threat of arrest will stop the majority of punches being thrown. It really is a shame the actions of so few are ruining it for the others.

We need to nip this in the bud fast as racing cannot afford to lose a potential audience. Anyway, onto the stuff that really matters – Newbury for four nice rides before flying up to Doncaster for another four.

Never Back Down – 1.50pm Newbury (Carnarvon Stakes)

This looks really competitive despite the fact there are only nine runners. I ride Never Back Down for Hugo Palmer, who is having his first run since being gelded. He also wears blinkers for the first time, so there has to be hope that he concentrates on the job in hand. He has bits and pieces of form that would see him get involved and I’m hoping for a good run.

2.25pm Newbury (Aston Park Stakes)

No ride for me here, but I’d be surprised if Crystal Ocean didn’t win again after his reappearance success at Sandown. He’s only lightly-raced and just the type that his now in-form trainer does so well with. Second Step looks the obvious one to chase him home.

Communique – 3.00pm Newbury (London Gold Cup)

Mark Johnston is beginning to hit top gear so I’m looking forward to riding Communique for him again in the London Gold Cup. He races from the same mark as when second at Sandown last time where he still showed signs of being very inexperienced. He is bound to have come on for that run and I’m hoping he can be competitive off such a light weight. There are dangers everywhere with Masaarr and He’s Amazing looking the obvious ones.

Lahore – 3.40pm Newbury (Lockinge Stakes)

The big Group One race of the day where I ride Lahore for Clive Cox. He’s still lightly raced and will strip fitter than on his reappearance at Leicester. This is a real test and whether he is up to beating genuine top class horses like Limato and Rhododendron remains to be seen.

I’m hoping he will prove up to it in time, but I’m not sure whether he is quite up to it yet. However, we will give it our best shot and I’d be delighted if we could hit the frame. As for the most likely winner, I think its between the three big guns – Limato, Rhododendron and Addeybb. It’s very hard to pick one of those three, so I’ll leave that to you.

Marie’s Diamond – 4.15pm Newbury

My last ride of the day at Newbury is another for Mark Johnston. Marie’s Diamond, who I rode to win at Leicester on his debut last month. That was a nice performance although this will require another huge step up on a very different surface. He showed a nice attitude though and deserves a crack at this. Obviously, Aidan O’Brien’s The Irish Rover looks the one we all have to beat.

I then fly up to Doncaster for four rides at their evening meeting. My best chance may well be Maksab for Mick Channon in the 8.20pm contest. I was a bit disappointed with him last time, but he should go well if bouncing back.