Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 21st October 2017
Silvestre de Sousa 188BET Blog – Saturday 21st October 2017
This is my final blog of the season on a day at Ascot when I’m really excited about being crowned Stobart Champion Jockey for a second time. I will be at the racecourse early as I’m doing the Opening Show on ITV first thing.
It should be a really fun day as I have kindly been given a box there with my family and friends. At the moment I am booked for only the one ride in the Long Distance Cup, so I guess I will just head up after that and spend the day with everyone.
I was supposed to be riding one for Simon Crisford in the last but as all 20 stood their ground, we just missed out by a couple. Anyway, here are my thoughts on Desert Skyline’s chances and also who I’d like to be riding in the five other Champions Day races…
Desert Skyline – Ascot 13:25
A really good renewal of the Long Distance Cup with the big two in Order Of St George and Big Orange both being declared. Big Orange came out the better in the Ascot Gold Cup here in June, but I expect Order Of St George to gain his revenge on Saturday afternoon. He has had an extra week to recover from the Arc this year and now that the rain has come, he will be hard to beat.
If he is to get beaten, it could well be at the hands of my mount Desert Skyline who finally got his head in front in the Doncaster Cup last time. This will require more, but his three-year-old allowance certainly throws him into contention. My only worry is that he might not want too much more rain as he is definitely best on a sound surface.
The Champion Sprint Stakes is arguably the race of the day with Harry Angel back in action against his Royal Ascot conqueror Caravaggio, and last year’s winner The Tin Man.
If I could ride one it would definitely be Harry Angel who I think is a really special horse. He is without doubt one of the best sprinters I have seen and what he displayed at Haydock was quite remarkable. He showed blistering speed from the gate and then seemed to be able to quicken again just after half way.
It’s a very long season for some of these fillies and mares with plenty of them already having gone in their coats. That’s why it’s important to find one that flourishes in the autumn and that has to be Journey. She was touched off in this two years ago, won it last year and will take plenty of beating this year too. This has obviously been the plan and she’ll do for me.
Another brilliant race in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes where my eyes are immediately drawn to Ribchester. He has won all three starts at Ascot and goes well on the soft. He faces some very good horses here like Guineas winner Churchill and Andrew Balding’s Beat The Bank, but he should go in again.
It is a shame that there is no Ulysses in the Champion Stakes as I’d like to have seen him in this against the likes of Cracksman and Barney Roy. A lot will depend on how much rain falls before racing as the more of a test of stamina it becomes, the better Cracksman’s chances, and Frankie (Dettori) is pretty bullish about him. Barney Roy is very classy on his day, but is all about speed and this may be gruelling.
The final race on the card, is the 20 runner Balmoral Handicap and as I mentioned earlier, Century Dream just failed to get in – he was unlucky as he made it as second reserve.
Anyway, the favourite is a horse called Zabeel Prince who I bolted up on at York last week. He gave me a super feel that day and will be very hard to beat here if reproducing that effort. He won’t mind the rain and looks to have most to fear from Lord Glitter who caught the eye last time. He is an interesting recruit from France who looks to be crying out for a mile on soft ground.
Thanks for reading my blog throughout the season and I’m delighted to say that I will be teaming up with 188BET again next season too. So I’ll talk to you then.