Silvestre de Sousa Blog: Saturday 1st September 2018

Silvestre de Sousa – 188BET Blog – Saturday 1st September 2018     

Before getting stuck into this weekend’s action, I wanted to say a few more words about record-breaking Mark Johnston. His achievement last week in becoming Britain’s most successful ever trainer with his 4194th winner is remarkable. I am very lucky to ride for this incredible man. His pain-staking attention to detail is unmatched and he is so thorough in his efforts to understand every horse in his care.

It is well known that every runner is ‘always trying’ and he is always so honest to talk to. There are never loads of excuses and he always offers an honest and detailed assessment of a horse’s chances or performance. Whenever I see that I am down to ride one of his, I always know that I have a chance, even if the form book suggests otherwise.

Plenty of his rivals have learnt over the years never to discount one of his runners. They have an uncanny ability to bounce back from a poor showing. He is a brilliant trainer and a real gentleman. The numbers don’t lie.

I’ll be heading to Sandown this Saturday for a card backed by my sponsor’s 188BET – so it will be nice to ride a winner. Before I head there, I will ride out at home in Newmarket. I’m not sure where yet, as that is often decided by a phone call late on Friday afternoon. Anyway, I have six nice rides to look forward to…

Bahamian Sunrise – 1.50pm Sandown (188BET Extra Place Races Handicap)

I kick off in the opener aboard Bahamian Sunrise for John Gallagher. I won on him at Epsom back in April and he was just touched off back there last Monday. So, he comes here in good form and has run well at the track before. However, the big concern has to be his draw as he has landed stall 14 of 14. That’s the widest draw possible and makes life pretty tough for us. Hopefully he can still go well. Rapid Applause looks the obvious one from a good draw with his stable in excellent form.

Communique – 2.25pm Sandown (Best Odds Guaranteed At 188BET Handicap)

As mentioned above, you can never rule out one of Mark Johnston’s and his Communique continues to run well throughout a busy schedule. This will be his sixth run since running at Royal Ascot, in which time he has won at both the July Meeting at Newmarket and at Glorious Goodwood. He finished a decent fourth at York last week and is back for more again from the same mark. Hopefully he can hold his form. He’s so tough and the uphill finish will suit. I’m looking forward to riding him again.

3.00pm Sandown (188BET Casino Atalanta Stakes)

No ride for me here where Sir Michael Stoute’s Veracious looks the one to beat now dropped back to a mile. She is lightly raced and ran a cracker to be third to Alpha Centauri at Royal Ascot on her first run of the campaign. The extra couple of furlongs possibly found here out at Goodwood and she will be hard to beat here. She meets a smart mare in Laugh Aloud, though, who has been off for over a year and could test her if back to her best.

Victory Command – 3.35pm Sandown (188BET Solario Stakes)

The big two-year-old race of the afternoon where I ride another for Mark Johnston in Victory Command. He seems to be progressing with every start and reeled off the hat-trick by making all at Ascot last time on King George day. He will have been freshened up for this despite it being his eighth race of the campaign and will give this a bold go from the front again. The form book suggests that Arthur Kitt is the one to beat after his Royal Ascot win, while Too Darn Hot looked a bit special here last time.

Smile A Mile – 4.10pm Sandown (188BET Supports The NSPCC Nursery Handicap)

A fascinating nursery where I ride the maiden Smile A Mile for Mark Johnston. I’m hoping the step up to seven furlongs will be the making of him and he should go well if reproducing his Haydock third. The NSPCC is a charity close to my heart and I have given them a pair of my breeches signed by a whole lot of jockeys at Royal Ascot to auction off on the day.

High Acclaim – 4.45pm Sandown (188BET Mobile Bet10 Get20 Handicap)

My penultimate ride of the afternoon is High Acclaim for Roger Teal who won’t want the ground to dry out too much. He won the Spring Mile at Doncaster back in March on soft ground and is only 4lbs higher now. This looks really competitive and hopefully he can go well if the ground doesn’t dry out too much.

Compton Mill – 5.20pm Sandown (Read Silvestre De Sousa At 188BET Handicap)

If there is one race I should win today, then it really should be the Read Silvester De Sousa At 188BET Handicap. There aren’t many people alive that get to see races named after them, let alone ride in them! I feel very honoured. Whether Compton Mill can add to his win here a few weeks ago remains to be seen. He must have a chance of just a 2lb higher mark and is the only one with last-time out winning form. This trip obviously suits and there are definitely reasons to be optimistic.