Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 1st June 2018
Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Friday 1st June 2018
I cannot believe it’s June already and that means it’s time for the Investec Derby meeting at Epsom. It’s great to be riding at the track on both days and to have some really nice chances. Plenty has been written about how unique Epsom is as a track and it will be even more complex to ride than usual this year with so much rain about.
With the ground set to ride soft, I’m pretty sure that we will all be heading over to the stands side on Friday and there are bound to be even more traffic problems than usual. As always you need to be on the right horse, but you will also need plenty of luck. I’ve got six nice rides on Friday and here are my thoughts on them and the Investec Oaks…
One of my best chances over the two days actually comes in the first race on the Friday aboard Marie’s Diamond in the Woodcote Stakes. Mark Johnston has won this race twice in the last three years and looks to have a really good chance again. I rode Marie’s Diamond when he won on his debut at Leicester and he did it nicely. The ground was pretty bad that day so he wont mind any more rain if it does come. He ran well again when I rode him in a better race at Newbury last time on a quicker surface. I guess the return to softer conditions may play to his strengths and he would have learnt plenty from that last run too. Richard Hannon’s It’s the Only Way could be our biggest danger, but I’m hoping we will go very close.
On ratings, Mr Scaramanga is the best horse in the race which has to be a big positive. I suppose the big concern is the fact that he hasn’t shown much in his last few starts and needs to bounce back. The handicapper has given him a bit of a chance, though, and he slips in here off a mark of 97 which he was competitive off last April. Hopefully he will return to that form. There may only be eight rivals but there look to be plenty of dangers with last year’s second Mythical Madness possibly the biggest threat.
All eyes will be on Cracksman here who will be very tough to beat. He was second in last year’s Derby but has gone from strength to strength since and will take some beating. I ride Salouen for Sylvester Kirk who ran okay at Ascot last time. This requires a massive step up, though, and I’d be delighted if we could hit the frame.
I ride Never Surrender for Charlie Hills who has to bounce back after disappointing at Chester last time. He hasn’t really delivered yet, but sneaks in here off a light weight and has run okay at the track before. This does look really competitive with Ajman King the obvious one after all that rain. He loves soft ground and did well to beat me here last time when I was on Dash Of Spice. I also expect top weight Dark Red to go well too as he’s in good form and likes it around Epsom.
No ride for me in the feature race of the day which I will watch with interest from the weighing room. The obvious ones are Wild Illusion for Godolphin and Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand. Ryan (Moore) has chosen her over the other four fillies which is a tip in its own right. However, I think there may be some value in William Haggas’ Give And Take who may be underestimated here. She won nicely at York last time and could upset a few of these.
On paper my mount Lake Volta has it all to do in the Surrey Stakes. However, it’s dangerous to rule out any of Mark Johnston’s runners around here, particularly as they are in excellent form. The best of his form is good enough for him to get involved and he has handled cut in the past. Hopefully he can go well in what looks a wide-open race.
My final ride of the day is Galloway Hills for David Elsworth who also saddles the likely favourite Ripp Orf. I’m hoping my colt will run well as he has just 8st 2lbs in the saddle, which means no breakfast for me! He handled Newmarket pretty well last time and is a small compact horse so Epsom should be fine for him. Obviously there are plenty of dangers, including Ripp Orf and Clubbable, but I’m hoping me horse can go well.