Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 22nd June 2018

Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Friday 22nd June 2018   

At last! It was great to ride my first winner at this year’s meeting aboard Ostilio who did it the brave way from the front in the Britannia Stakes. I’m thrilled for Simon (Crisford) who has been a big supporter of mine and he has done brilliantly with this one.

It’s been a frustrating week to this point having had a few seconds, so it’s nice to have finally got one on the board. I’m also reliably informed that it’s my 50th winner of the season in the Championship race so that’s good news too.

Every night this week that I have left the races by car I have listened to the World Cup on the radio on the journey home. It’s a nice switch off from the racing and as I’m from Brazil, football is in my blood. Speaking of Brazil, they are in action against Costa Rica at 1pm on Friday so will still be playing when I go out to ride in the Albany Stakes – hopefully they will have the win sewn up by then, though.

When I get home each night I typically like to spend a bit of time with the kids if they are still up and then I might go out into the fresh air and be with the horses we keep at home. It’s a great way of clearing the mind ahead of another busy day at Ascot.

My plan for Friday is to ride work as usual and then jump in the car and get to the races early – you know the drill! Plans are a little bit different for later, though, as I will be flying from Ascot to Newmarket to ride two before finally getting home last thing. Looking at Friday’s action and I have five nice rides to look forward to…

Pretty Pollyanna – 2.30pm Royal Ascot (Albany Stakes)

I start the day with a ride for Michael Bell in the Albany Stakes. Pretty Pollyanna only made her racecourse debut at Yarmouth last week where she won under Hayley Turner. This is obviously a huge step up in class in a very short period of time, but I’m hoping she will go okay. The reality is she is up against it with Aidan’s (O’Brien) pair Fairyland and Just Wonderful looking the obvious two.

3.05pm Royal Ascot (King Edward VII Stakes)

No ride for me in the King Edward VII Stakes with Aidan O’Brien represented by Delano Roosevelt, Rostropovich and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Ryan Moore has chosen Delano Roosevelt who has to bounce back from his sixth-place finish in the Derby, but we saw Kew Gardens, who finished ninth that day, perform well on Wednesday and I fancy Delano Roosevelt to do the same.

Cardsharp – 3.40pm Royal Ascot (Commonwealth Cup)

The first Group One action of the day where I’m on Cardsharp for Mark Johnston. It was only last Sunday that this one got back to winning ways in the Cathedral Stakes at Salisbury and he is hitting form at the right time. He goes well on this fast ground and don’t forget he was good enough to win the July Stakes last summer.

This will obviously require a step forward, but hopefully he can surprise a few of the big guns. The two at the top of the market look the ones to beat. Sioux Nation won at this meeting last year, while Equilateral looked a superstar in the making at Doncaster.

Adorable – 4.20pm Royal Ascot (Coronation Stakes)

The feature race on the penultimate day of the meeting is the Coronation Stakes where I ride Adorable for Mick Channon. This is a big leap in class from the Listed race she won at Longchamp last time and the ground is very different too. It was soft that day when Christophe Soumillon rode her and the only time she has been beaten is when she has encountered fast ground.

That has to be a niggling worry, but she deserves to take her chance in a race like this. It will be intriguing to see the clash of the English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas winners and I think Alpha Centauri will come out on top given the fast conditions.

Dark Rose Angel – 5.00pm Royal Ascot (Sandringham Stakes)

Just the 24 runners for the Sandringham Stakes where I partner Dark Rose Angel for Simon Crisford, She finished third to Threading at York last time and hasn’t really fired yet this season. She wears blinkers for the first time and hopefully that will spark her back into life here. It will be a tough ask, though, with plenty of well-handicapped fillies lurking in here. Roger’s (Varian) Qazyna looks very smart and is the one we all have to beat.

Dash Of Spice – 5.35pm Royal Ascot (Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes)

My final ride before jetting off to Newmarket is my best chance of the day and that’s Dash Of Spice for David Elsworth in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes. He lines up here having routed his opposition at Epsom on Derby Day and will be hard to beat here despite an 11lb rise in the weights. He wasn’t stopping that day and this trip seems perfect for him.

His draw in 14 isn’t ideal, but it shouldn’t inconvenience him if I can grab a decent spot and I’m very hopeful. There are obviously plenty of dangers with Walton Street looking one of the more likely threats.