Silvestre De Sousa Blog: Saturday 11th August 2018
I won’t be riding in England on Saturday as I have been asked to ride Nyaleti for Mark Johnston in the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington. Therefore, it will be an early start on Saturday morning with a flight to Chicago from Heathrow and I will literally be straight in and out as I’ll be back on Sunday.
I’m gutted that I won’t be able to catch up with my old mate Joao Moreira who is over to ride at Ascot. He’s flying in and out too so we will probably just pass in mid-air. The Shergar Cup itself is a really fun event which I’ve ridden at before. It’s something different and the racegoers seem to really enjoy it too. Here are my thoughts on Nyaleti’s chances…
Nyaleti – 11.25pm Arlington Park (Beverly D Stakes)
It’s really nice to have been asked to fly over to Chicago and ride Nyaleti for Mark Johnston in a race like this. This filly gets in here with a lovely racing weight against her elders and is very experienced for one so young. She has never travelled this far but did go to France as a two-year-old and won in Dusseldorf back in May. This is the first time she has been beyond a mile, but she shapes like the trip shouldn’t be a problem. Obviously, the home team have a big chance with Sistercharlie, while Aidan O’Brien’s Athena was a good winner at Belmont last month. There’s some good prize money on offer and I’m hoping we can be competitive.
There’s a lot of good racing on Saturday…
Shergar Cup (Ascot)
With the field sizes limited to only the 10 runners, the racing looks as competitive as you might expect. The key will be the weather as there is a fair bit of rain in the air at the moment and it’s not clear how much will hit Ascot. If it does, there are two horses I know pretty well who are desperate for conditions to ease.
The first is Soldier In Action who has been declared to run in the Stayers Handicap (1.40pm). I rode him at Goodwood last Saturday and he was never happy on the fast ground. If the word ‘soft’ appears in the going description. I expect him to go well. Another to keep an eye on is Fire Brigade in the Mile (2.50pm). He has had his wind done and we know he goes well with cut in the ground.
3.05pm Haydock (Rose Of Lancaster Stakes)
A fascinating race which sees Communique, who I won on at Goodwood last week, step up into Group Three company. He’s a horse who seems to be improving all the time and deserves to be stepped up in class here. There’s no reason to think he cannot be competitive if he’s over last week’s exertions.
However, he will have to be on his A-game to beat Elwazir who I finished second to on Extra Elusive at Ascot last time. I fancied our chances that day getting 10lbs on a colt I know Roger Charlton thinks a lot of and we were no match for him. That was definitely the performance of a Group class colt and he will be tough to beat.
3.45pm Newmarket (Sweet Solera Stakes)
Only the seven runners here but a chance for Royal Ascot winner Main Edition to get back on track. She was nearly knocked over at Newmarket last time in a race I won on Pretty Pollyana and the step up to seven furlongs looks what she needs. The 3lb penalty will make things tough against loads of improving fillies, though, with La Pelosa, Ajrar and Pennywhistle all in against her.
Finally, I had to mention the big one on Sunday…
3.20pm Deauville (Jacques le Marois)
No prizes for originality here but I would be very surprised if Alpha Centauri didn’t beat the boys. She is definitely the best three-year-old colt or filly in England and Ireland over a mile and I’m not sure there is a better one lurking in France. I suppose the key is whether the rain stays away and the forecasts suggest that the weather is set fair. On a quick surface she is a class act and will take some beating.