Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 20th July 2018
Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Friday 20th July 2018
My ban starts this Friday, so it’s going to be frustrating to sit on the sidelines for the next week. There’s nothing more to be said really, it’s very frustrating but I can’t do anything about it so I just have to move on. We’re going to go away to Ireland for a few days with the family, but apart from that I’ll continue riding out and look forward to getting back on the racecourse next Friday.
Fortunately, I’ve had a good week with quite a few winners which is always nice before a ban. We’re now halfway through the season so it’s a good time to reflect…
Newmarket July meeting
I was only at Newmarket for one day of the July meeting, but it went really well with two winners. I was thrilled to win the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes on Pretty Pollyanna for Michael Bell and the Gredleys. She ran an absolutely brilliant race and clearly has a huge amount of potential.
I know there was trouble in behind, but she travelled into the race like a top class filly and quickened again when I asked her. She’s very exciting. It was also great to win on Communique, who got up in the shadows of the post and put his recent disappointments behind him.
The season so far
Although things got off to quite a slow start, I’ve been happy with the way the season has gone up to now. It was great to have two winners at Royal Ascot, while last week’s Group 2 was another highlight. I suppose the one that got away was Salouen in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on Oaks day. He so nearly won it and just got reeled in by Cracksman in the final strides.
Group 1s aren’t easy to win and it would have been lovely to have won that for Sylvester Kirk. My priority is to win a third champion jockey title and although I’ve got a decent lead at the moment, I won’t be taking anything for granted. I love riding horses and will be going all out to have as many winners as I can.
Terrible ground at Bath
I don’t like to be critical, but the ground really was shocking at Bath on Tuesday, it was so hard. When the ground is too soft they abandon, why don’t they do the same when it’s too fast? The horses couldn’t even canter back after the races because they were jarred up and stiff. We need to draw a line when the ground gets too hard. It’s not safe, you have to go round a bend and then pull up quickly. Fortunately they were small fields, but it’s dangerous. I’m sure the watering system isn’t the best there, but it’s nearly 2020 and it needs to improve. For the safety of horses, they need to take a strong look at this.
The big race at Newbury is the Hackwood Stakes where I think Roger Charlton’s Projection is the one they all have to beat. He wasn’t beaten far in the Diamond Jubilee last time and is stepping down in grade here. Equilateral was very good two starts back at Doncaster, but he has to bounce back from a disappointing effort in the Commonwealth Cup.
The Super Sprint looks a typically competitive puzzle, but Richard Fahey has won this three times in the last five years and he runs six on Saturday. I suppose Paul Hanagan had the choice, so you’d have to respect the chances of Red Balloons who won well at Nottingham a couple of weeks ago.
Over in Ireland, it’s the Irish Oaks where William Haggas’ Sea Of Class can bring the prize back to the UK. She has been very impressive at Newbury on her last two starts and as a daughter of Sea The Stars, she will relish stepping up to 1m4f. There are only seven fillies in the field and although Magic Wand and Forever Together are going to be hard to beat, I think she can do it.
France worthy World Cup winners
It was a fantastic World Cup in Russia with so many great games and stories. For a country the size of Croatia, to make it to the final was an incredible achievement. France deserved the win, though. They played really well throughout the tournament and looked like they were a real team who were enjoying themselves. Well done to them.