Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 25th August 2018

 Silvestre de Sousa – 188BET Blog – Saturday 25th August 2018     

As always, it’s been a great Ebor meeting at York. There really is something for everyone.

It’s definitely one of my favourite courses because there’s always such a good atmosphere. You can really feel the crowd behind you up the home straight and they absolutely love their racing up there.

I was really pleased to see Mark Johnston break the record for the most winners on Friday. He’s a fantastic trainer and has always supported me. It was lovely for him to do it at York on such a big day. Congratulations to him and all the team, it’s richly deserved. Here are my thoughts on the final day of the meeting, where I have six rides…

1.50pm York (Strensall Stakes)

I’m on Threading for Mark [Johnston] in the opener. She’s been disappointing on her last two starts, but before that she was second to Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes and a return to that form would make her hard to beat.

She’s also unbeaten at York, winning last year’s Lowther and then a Listed race in May by seven lengths, so let’s hope she remembers the place when she arrives. It’s quite a deep race with Lord Glitters a worthy favourite. I’d also give Chilean a chance at a big price. I’ve ridden him before and he’s a good horse. He won a Group Three at Longchamp earlier this season.

2.25pm York (Melrose Handicap)

The Melrose is always a really competitive race, but hopefully I’ve got a good chance on Making Miracles. He’s been having a really good season and has been very consistent. He won a decent handicap at Haydock two starts back and then finished a good third at Glorious Goodwood.

This is another hard task for him, but he’s in great form and I’ll be looking for a big run. David Simcock’s horses are running really well at the moment, so his Supernova looks the biggest threat following back-to-back wins.

3.00pm York (City Of York Stakes)

I haven’t ridden Arbalet before but I’m looking forward to sitting on him in the City Of York. This looks another tight race, but he’s got a nice light weight which helps. He ran really well to be second behind Burnt Sugar in the big seven-furlong handicap at Ascot last month, although he will have to step on that here.

I was talking to one of the stable staff at Hugo Palmer’s yard who said he’s in great form. Expert Eye is the one we all have to beat, while Above The Rest has improved massively.

3.40pm York (Ebor Handicap)

It’s great that there’s been a big prize money boost to the Ebor and even better that it’s going to be worth a million next year! It could become almost like a British Melbourne Cup and I think it should be a ‘win and you’re in’ for the big one Down Under.

It’s always a very tough race and it will be no different this year. Stratum won well at Newbury last time, but he’s quite a short price for a race as competitive as this. I’m sure this has been the target for Blakeney Point all season. Roger Charlton’s horses are in good form, so you’d have to respect his chances.

Weekender is also a horse I like, although it’s not going to be easy to win off top weight. I ride Time To Study and to be honest, we’re in at the deep end. He’s a big price but I’m sure he’ll give me a good ride.4.15pm York

I ride Chapelli in this Listed race over five furlongs and it’s a bonus that she’s a course and distance winner. I’ve ridden her once before when she was a close third in a Listed race at Sandown, so we know she’s up to this level. She wasn’t beaten too far last time in a Group Three at Ascot and was only a length behind The Mackem Bullet who almost won the Lowther on Thursday. She should have a decent chance, but Richard Fahey’s Sabre will be hard to beat. He almost won the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot and wasn’t disgraced in the Richmond last time at Goodwood.

4.50pm York

Communique has been a very good horse this season, winning three decent handicaps. His last success was at Glorious Goodwood and then he finished fourth at Haydock last time. I’m looking forward to getting back on him and although I’m not saying he’s going to win, he should have a really good chance. He’s probably my best chance of a winner on the day, it’s such competitive racing.5.20pm York

The final race of the Ebor meeting is a handicap for apprentice jockeys. Main Desire is two from two over course and distance and this is a big drop in grade after running in the King George Stakes and Commonwealth Cup on her last two starts. As long as her draw in stall two doesn’t count against her, she looks the most likely winner to me.