Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 20th June 2018
Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Wednesday 20th June 2018
It’s the second day of Royal Ascot and again I’ll start off from home back in Newmarket where I’ll ride work first thing.
As I mentioned yesterday, it will then be off early again to Ascot to beat the traffic and I will be at the track at least a few hours before the first race.
It really is such a fantastic meeting and brings the very best horses from all over the world. There are TV cameras from so many nations and it’s the one time our sport in this country gets coverage all over the world.
Looking ahead at the action on the track, and I’ve got three nice rides to look forward to. Here are my thoughts on those and the other races…
Daphinia – 2.30pm Royal Ascot (Queen Mary Stakes)
All eyes will be on Frankie Dettori who rides US raider Chelsea Cloisters for Wesley Ward. This filly has been the talk of Newmarket in the build up to this year’s meeting and is reportedly as speedy as Lady Aurelia, who blitzed her way to victory in this two years ago.
The truth is she won’t have to be as fast as Lady Aurelia to win this and will more than likely be hard to peg back.
I ride Daphinia for Henry Spiller who showed plenty of zip when second at York last time. This represents another big step up and she may just be up against it here.
She deserves her place in the line-up, though, as if you have a speedy two-year-old filly, you have to roll that dice. If the favourite doesn’t win, it will more than likely be Clive Cox’s Shades Of Blue who does. She looked good on her debut.
3.05pm Royal Ascot (Queen’s Vase)
No ride for me in the Queen’s Vase where Aidan O’Brien will bid to win it for the fourth time in six years.
Ryan Moore has chosen to ride Kew Gardens and that is a huge tip in itself. He will more than likely put his Epsom disappointments behind him and bounce back here.
Frankie (Dettori) has been making positive noises about Steam Of Stars who will be bang there too.
3.40pm Royal Ascot (Duke Of Cambridge Stakes)
It’s boring to say it but I reckon that this is another prize that will go to Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
Hydrangea brings Group One-winning form to the table here and I think she can defy her penalty and get back to winning ways. She won twice at the highest level last season and is very classy on her day.
The other fillies and mares will have their work cut out to beat her. The pick of them could be Tomyris, although there is very little between a whole bunch of them.
4.20pm Royal Ascot (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes)
It’s still painful looking back at the replay of the Coronation Cup at Epsom when I was nailed on the line by Cracksman when trying to hold on aboard Salouen.
The track clearly didn’t suit John Gosden’s colt who is much more effective at Ascot. He was super impressive when winning last season’s Champion Stakes and a repeat of that will be more than good enough here.
Poet’s Word looks the most likely to chase him home, but it should be relatively easy for Cracksman.
Archetype – 5.00pm Royal Ascot (Royal Hunt Cup)
The usual whopping field for the Hunt Cup where I ride Archetype for Simon Crisford. He won four times last season and has had a couple of runs this term to put him straight for this.
His most recent third place in a Longchamp Listed contest reads pretty well and he could go well here at a big price. Even though he has plenty of soft ground form, he did win on good to firm ground last season, so conditions shouldn’t trouble him either.
As for the dangers, I could nominate at least 20, but will narrow that down to Roger Varian’s Cape Byron who may just still be ahead of the handicapper.
James Garfield – 5.35pm Royal Ascot (Jersey Stakes)
They often say that you should save the best until last and I reckon that could be the case with my rides on day two. James Garfield has to carry a penalty here, but we always thought that he is at least Group One or Two class.
The seven-furlong trip will suit much better than the six last time and he will be fine in the conditions. There are 22 other runners and I’d say I’d be pretty confident without the penalty.
That just brings the likes of Expert Eye, Emaraaty and Headway into it as it won’t be easy giving them 5lbs. I hope he’s up to it, though, and I’m really looking forward to giving it a good go.