Silvestre De Sousa Blog: Saturday 15th September 2018

Silvestre de Sousa – 188BET Blog – Saturday 15th September 2018

It’s nice to be back in action at Doncaster on Saturday for the big day having been suspended for the last three. I didn’t go away and just chose to spend the time at home with the family. We did manage to have a little day trip into Cambridge and had a nice lunch together. I didn’t look at the racing results until later in the evening to stop myself getting frustrated – it’s tough when you see a horse win you know you might have ridden. Anyway, I travel up to Doncaster with some really nice rides including Dee Ex Bee in the big one…

Holmeswood – 1.50pm Doncaster (Portland Handicap)

I’m really excited about getting back on Holmeswood for Michael Dods in the Portland Handicap. The 5 ½ furlong trip suited him well at York last time where he finished a close-up third and the handicapper has given him a chance by leaving his mark unchanged. He hasn’t won a race this season but can be competitive here from what looks a fair mark. We will just need that bit of luck as he is normally held up, so hopefully the gaps will open. There are dangers all around us with Open Wide, Udontdodou and stablemate Dakota Gold looking the obvious threats.

Above The Rest – 2.25pm Doncaster (Park Stakes)

Having won nicely at York and Newcastle in June, I guess Above The Rest was a little disappointing when reappearing after his small break at York last month. For whatever reason he just didn’t fire that day and is better judged on those two previous efforts. Even though this is a hot race, he’s entitled to go close if he can return to that form. Mustashry will love the drop in trip and looks the one to beat.

Dark Vision – 3.00pm Doncaster (Champagne Stakes)

This looks to be one of the hottest two-year-old races of the season so far where I partner unbeaten Vintage Stakes winner Dark Vision for Mark Johnston. His performance at Goodwood was impressive and he showed a brilliant turn of foot to win from an unpromising position. I was definitely a lot further back than I wanted to be that day and will be closer to the pace here. He looks a really exciting prospect and can go close. The only problem is the presence of Too Darn Hot who is also unbeaten and looked exceptional last time. It will be fascinating to see who comes out on top and I’d say I’m definitely more hopeful than confident. Charlie Hills’ Phoenix Of Spain is no slouch either so it should be a great race.

Dee Ex Bee – 3.35pm Doncaster (St Leger)

The final Classic of the season and I’m really thrilled to have been asked to ride Dee Ex Bee again. I’ve not sat on him since he disappointed on fast ground at Goodwood, but that wasn’t the true Dee Ex Bee. The key to him in my opinion is a little bit of juice in the ground so the rain that arrived during the week is ideal. I’d be very happy to see some more to stop the ground drying out. I’ve long felt that the step up to this trip is what he has been crying out for and I’m sweet on his chances. He’s tough and I think he’s a leading player here if he can return to the form he was in on Derby day. Obviously, I respect the likes of Kew Gardens and the filly Lah Ti Dar, but I wouldn’t swap my lad for any of them.

The Trader – 4.10pm Doncaster

I ride another one for Mark Johnston in the nursery in the shape of The Trader who carries top weight. He’s won two of his four starts and he’ll find this an easier task than the one he faced at Newbury last time. He does have a fair bit of weight, though, so it won’t be easy.

Aquarium – 4.45pm Doncaster

Only the five runners in the penultimate race on the card where I ride Aquarium, again for the Johnston team. He makes a quick reappearance having finished third here earlier in the week, so I’m hoping that will spring him back to form. The obvious one to best is Ostilio who I partnered to victory at Royal Ascot in the Britannia. He’s now 14lbs higher but remains a colt with a very bright future.

Star Of The East – 5.55pm Doncaster

My final ride on the card is Star Of The East, again for Team Johnston in the last. He never fired at Haydock last weekend but had been in good form prior to that. This will be his 15th start of a busy campaign in which he has already won four times. That winning run began off a mark of 85 so this won’t be easy off 98. We only have four other rivals including Dubawi Prince who will be hard to beat.