Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 5th May 2018

Even though I rode three winners last weekend (two at Leicester on Saturday and one at Salisbury on Sunday), I have to admit it was a bit painful watching Pakistan Star win the QEII Cup out in Hong Kong.

Having agreed to fly over to Sha Tin to ride him earlier in the week, I found myself stuck as my retainer with Prince Faisal meant I had to stay at home and ride Lahore in the Listed contest at Leicester.

I couldn’t let him down and was just sad that I had to let Tony Cruz down too. Luckily for him and William Buick, the horse showed his ability and won in terrific style. I’m thrilled for him and hope I’ll get another opportunity to ride him again.

As for this weekend’s action and the QIPCO Champions Series gets underway with the Guineas meeting at Newmarket. I’ll be riding there both days and have a ride in both the 2000 and 1000 Guineas. Here are my thoughts on my Saturday rides…

Another Eclipse – 1.50pm Newmarket

A really competitive opening race where I ride Another Eclipse for David Simcock. This is his first run of the season and he has been gelded since he finished second at Doncaster last September.

David has also decided to step him up in trip so I’m hoping that will help him too. He’s raced eight times in his career and not been out of the first three since his debut, so he is ultra-consistent.

This will require a lot more, though, and Roger Varian’s Sharja Bridge will be very hard to beat.

2.20pm Newmarket (Palace House Stakes)

Only the nine runners in the Palace House Stakes and sadly no ride for me. You can make a case out for most of these, but the three-year-old Havana Grey may be the one as he was a speedy two-year-old.

2.55pm Newmarket (Jockey Club Stakes)

An even smaller field with just five in the Jockey Club Stakes. Again, a race I’ll be watching from the weighing room and I’ll be very surprised if Defoe doesn’t win again.

Nebo – 3.35pm Newmarket (2000 Guineas)

The first Classic of the season and I’m delighted that Charlie Hills has asked me to ride Nebo for him. He has bits and pieces of decent two-year-old form, including a head second to favourite Gustav Klimt in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

He seems to handle any ground and has had the benefit of a prep race when he finished sixth in the Free Handicap at the Craven meeting. Obviously, he will need to step up a lot from that outing, but it’s nice to be asked to ride him.

Looking at the others and I had been linked with James Garfield who is now the mount of Frankie Dettori. He won nicely at Newbury in the Greenham but will have to improve to beat the likes of Gustav Klimt, Saxon Warrior, Masar and Elarqam.

If there is one who could run really well at a decent price, then it is Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye. I still have his victory at Glorious Goodwood last summer in my mind and if he can reproduce that run, he may just beat us all.

Galloway Hills – 4.10pm Newmarket

My final ride of the day at Newmarket is Galloway Hills for David Elsworth in the six furlong handicap. I finished second on him in a handicap at the Craven meeting where he put his fitness to good use.

He will surely be competitive again off the same mark of 82, but this race does look a bit stronger than last month

. There are too many dangers to single out really, but if I had to nominate one it would be Barton Mills. William Haggas has his team in great order and this one has had the benefit of a run this season.