Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 9th June 2018

Silvestre de Sousa’s 188BET Blog – Saturday 9th June 2018   

Looking back at last weekend’s action at Epsom, I suppose I should be delighted, having ridden three nice winners and finished second in both the Coronation Cup and the Derby. However, missing out on both of those two big ones is still a little painful, even seven days on. Salouen ran an absolute cracker on the Friday and was only a head away from pulling off a monster upset.

I still cannot believe Cracksman managed to nail us on the line, but we gave it our all. As for the Derby itself, Mark (Johnston) said Dee Ex Bee was going to run a cracker and he was right. If the race had been run on the Friday rather than the Saturday, the ground would have been bang up his street and, well, who knows?

He definitely prefers it a little softer and will improve the further he goes, too. He is a lovely horse who is getting better every time he races. Focusing on this weekend’s action, I head to Haydock where I have a ride in all seven races…

Sea Youmzain – 2.15pm Haydock

One of my best chances of the day comes in the opener where I ride Sea Youmzain for Mark Johnston. I’ve yet to ride this Sea The Stars filly, who won nicely on her handicap debut at Nottingham last time. She has gone up 6lbs for that success, but a mark of 79 still looks workable and hopefully she will go very close. We only face five rivals, but it’s hard to rule out any of them in what looks a wide-open contest.

Fosun – 2.50pm Haydock (Pinnacle Stakes)

I’ve been booked to ride German mare Fosun in the Pinnacle Stakes, one of the feature races of the day. She has twice won at Listed level and looks to be heading here in pursuit of her favoured sound surface. All of her best form has come on good ground and she looks set to get her ideal conditions here. God Given is the rightful favourite on paper but seems at her best on soft ground.

Gracious John – 3.25pm Haydock (Achilles Stakes)

It may be a Listed race on paper, but this year’s renewal of the Achilles Stakes looks Group Three standard at worst. The likes of Muthmir and Alpha Delphini are no strangers to running at Group One level, so take a step down in grade here. My mount Gracious John has been in great form already this year having won a Lingfield and Newbury back in April. This will require a lot more with Judicial looking the most obvious danger.

Lahore – 4.00pm Haydock (John Of Gaunt Stakes)

Another competitive looking contest where I ride Lahore for Clive Cox. The heavy ground wasn’t ideal at Leicester last time and he is bound to strip fitter here. However, whether he is up to beating the likes of Emmaus, Dutch Connection and Tabarrak remains to be seen. We will give it our best shot, but he isn’t the finished article and may find this tough. I think Roger Varian’s Emmaus looks the one we all have to beat.

Calder Prince – 4.35pm Haydock

A typical trappy Haydock six-furlong handicap where I ride Calder Prince for Tom Dascombe. He won well at Wolverhampton on his seasonal reappearance but hasn’t matched that form in three starts since. He has slipped to a reasonable mark now and hopefully can go well here. His stablemate Mickey looks likely to put up a bold show too.

Last Page – 5.10pm Haydock

I finished fourth aboard Last Page at Sandown two starts back and am reunited with him in the penultimate race of the day. He never fired at Chester last time, but you can always forgive a horse a no-show there and put a line through it. Previously, he had been in good form and could easily be competitive in a race like this off this mark.

Aquarium – 5.45pm Haydock

The last race of the day at Haydock where I ride Aquarium for Mark Johnston. I haven’t actually ridden him yet, but I’m hoping he can return to the form he was in last year. He is another who has slipped to a decent mark and hopefully he can go well.