Silvestre De Sousa Blog: SDS talks horrific holidays, keeping his cool, and Saturday’s rides
Last weekend’s trip to Arlington was a complete shambles. That’s because it didn’t happen.
I didn’t even get on the flight as I didn’t have the correct paperwork. You see I hold a Brazilian passport and you need the correct Visa to fly into Chicago. I didn’t have the right paperwork and my invitation to ride, which everyone thought would be enough, wasn’t. There was nothing I could do about it and I just had to ring my driver and ask him to turn around and pick me up.
It was just one of those things and I didn’t go crazy about it as there was simply no point. A few years ago I might have lost my cool, but I was actually very calm. It was frustrating not to get out to Arlington and I gave up at least five rides on the day which hurt too.
In the end, I just went home and had a nice quiet rest over the two days and recharged my batteries. Looking ahead, hopefully I’ve got the right paperwork to ride at Newbury on Saturday… 😊
Boitron – 1.50pm Newbury (Denford Stakes)
My first ride of the day (and possibly my best chance of a winner) is Boitron for Richard Hannon in the Denford Stakes over seven furlongs. He’s unbeaten in two starts, including a nice debut success at this track back in July. He followed that with a smart win at Doncaster when stepped up to this trip and he has a lot going for him here. He wears a tongue-tie for the first time which will hopefully help too and fingers crossed he can start the day off with a bang for me. The one I fear most would be Godolphin’s Good Fortune who won by a huge margin last time. He looks useful and will be hard to beat.
Raymond Tusk – 2.25pm Newbury (Geoffrey Freer Stakes)
Another one for Richard Hannon in the next where I ride Raymond Tusk who steps up in trip for the Geoffrey Freer Stakes. The way he won the Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton last time suggests he is well worth a try at this trip and it’s interesting that he holds a St Leger entry. The three-year-olds get a useful allowance at this time of year and the older horses will find it tough to give him 9lbs if he stays. Hamada is in brilliant form at present and it would be no surprise to see Dal Harraild run much better here too. It’s a good race and there are grounds for real optimism.
Sea Fox – 3.00pm Newbury (Ladies Day Handicap)
I’m on Sea Fox here as he attempts to land the hat-trick in this big field seven-furlong handicap. He’s gradually sneaking up the weights and races here off a mark of 93. This won’t be easy, but hopefully he hasn’t finished improving and he can defy the rise. Ed Walker’s Sabador looks sure to go well, as does Roger Varian’s Mystic Flight who could well still be ahead of his mark.
Dan’s Dream – 3.35pm Newbury (Hungerford Stakes)
The big race of the day where I am on one of the outsiders in Dan’s Dream for Mick Channon. Her trainer is always very optimistic and is making positive noises about her chances here on the back of Thursday’s rain. I won the Fred Darling on her on similar ground back in April and she didn’t see out the mile in the 1000 Guineas. She didn’t run as badly as her finishing position suggests at Goodwood last time as she was badly interfered with on ground that was plenty quick enough. Whether she is good enough to beat the big guns remains to be seen, but we will give it a good go. Obviously, Aidan O’Brien’s Gustav Klimt looks the one to beat. He’s unbeaten over seven furlongs and brings Group One form to the table.
Winged Spur – 4.40pm Newbury
My final ride of the day at Newbury is Winged Spur for Mark Johnston in the 1m2f handicap. I haven’t ridden her since she made her debut at Lingfield last November and she has been very busy of late. This will be her ninth run since the end of June and to her credit she has won three of those. This is harder though and she is now 16lbs higher in the handicap since her winning run began back at Ripon in June. She will hopefully continue to perform with her usual constancy, although it may be hard to beat Hidden Depths for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore. He was second to a very smart horse at Doncaster last time and looks on a fair mark for his handicap debut.