Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 23rd June 2018

Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Saturday 23rd June 2018   

I was thrilled to ride my second winner of the meeting on Friday. Dash Of Spice showed real guts to win the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap and that was some performance after what he did at Epsom and the rise in the weights he coped with.

I’m really grateful to have been given the ride by Mr Elsworth and Jeff Smith, the owner. They have been really loyal supporters of mine over the years and we have had plenty of success together. It means so much when you ride a winner on the big stage and it shows what I can do if I’m given the opportunity.

Onto Saturday’s action and my alarm clock back at home in Newmarket will be set for 6am. I’ll spring into action and grab a cup of coffee in the car on the way to the gallops to ride out.

I like to look through the paper to take a closer look at my rides for the day and there are nine to study today (three at Ascot followed by another six at Lingfield in the evening). After riding work, I’ll make my way to Ascot for the last day of what has been a pretty tiring week.

Again, I will get there in plenty of time and beat all the traffic. When I get to the races, I’ll grab a very late breakfast which will set me up for the day – it’s hard work riding nine winners in one day.

Here are my thoughts on the final day of the meeting….

2.30pm Royal Ascot (Chesham Stakes)

I start the afternoon with a ride for Mark Johnson in the opener on Aussie View who won really well at Doncaster last week from the front. She looked to relish the fast ground and the step up in trip, but this will require a lot more up in class and against the boys. I’m hopeful she can go well, but she may find it tough to beat her stablemate Natalie’s Joy who looked really good on debut at Goodwood. It should be a good race, though, and I’m looking forward to it.

3.05pm Royal Ascot (Hardwicke Stakes)

No ride for me in the Hardwicke Stakes which looks at the mercy of Crystal Ocean for Sir Michael Stoute who earlier this week became Royal Ascot’s most successful trainer. There are only the five runners, but he looks a cut above this lot.

H3.40pm Royal Ascot (Windsor Castle Stakes)

Just the 28 two-year-olds line-up for the Windsor Castle Stakes! I’m riding Hit The Track Jack for the first time for trainer George Baker and he comes here on the back of a win at Lingfield earlier this month. The ground will be a lot faster this afternoon and this is a massive step up in class.

We will break from stall five and nobody really knows whether that is a good draw or not as there is pace all over the track. Wesley Ward had a two-year-old winner earlier in the week and his flying filly Moonlight Romance is drawn near the stands side in stall 28. He has won this race twice before and she may be the one to beat.

4.20pm Royal Ascot (Diamond Jubilee Stakes)

Another race I’ll be watching from the weighing room and it looks a cracker. I’ve always been a fan of Harry Angel but he has yet to win at Ascot in four attempts and for whatever reason doesn’t seem at his best here. He will have to bring his ‘A Game’ to beat the likes of Redkirk Warrior and Merchant Navy. It will be fascinating to watch.

Royal Ascot (Wokingham Handicap)

If all the hype is to be believed about Dreamfield, it’s probably not worth me hanging around to ride Victory Angel and I should head to Lingfield early. On paper there are 28 runners and it should be a wide-open handicap, but by all accounts, Dreamfield is a Group horse running in a handicap. We all know it doesn’t always work out like that, but he is unquestionably a smart horse who is unbeaten in three. My mount Victory Angel should run well and will like the ground, but I’m not sure he has anything in hand with the handicapper. We are drawn in the stall next to Dreamfield, so my best chance may be to tie myself onto him at the start!

5.35pm Royal Ascot (Queen Alexandra Stakes)

I’ll be in the car on the way to Lingfield during the last race which will probably go the way of Willie Mullins again with last year’s runner-up Thomas Hobson. The stable won the Ascot Stakes earlier in the week and with Ryan Moore in the saddle, they are likely to be victorious again.