Silvestre De Sousa Blog: Wednesday 22nd August 2018
After three years, it was great to break my Group One hoodoo aboard Pretty Pollyanna in the Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday. I’ve had so many near-misses at the top level this season already, so it was nice to finally land a big one. Let’s hope I don’t have to wait another three years for the next one! As for the filly, she is very smart and has such an impressive cruising speed. She was also very tough and battled away really bravely to hold off Signora Cabello.
I’m just very grateful to have been given the opportunity to ride her again. As for this week, I was banned once again on Monday so had another day off at home with the family – they have seen rather too much of me this month unfortunately. But I’m heading to York on Wednesday for four nice rides on the opening day of their Ebor Festival.
It really is a great meeting with the most enthusiastic crowd you will see on any racecourse. If I can ride a few winners at the track this week I will be delighted…
Holmeswood – 1.55pm York (Symphony Group Handicap)
A typically competitive looking opener where I ride Holmeswood for Michael Dods. I’ve never actually ridded him before, but he comes from a stable who does well with its sprinters and won at this meeting 12 months ago. He has yet to hit the frame in six starts so far this season but is 6lbs lower in the handicap as a result. He’s drawn between the middle and the stands’ side, so I cannot grumble about that either as I reckon that’s the place to be. I’m hoping he can put up a real bold show.
Persian Moon – 2.25pm York (Acomb Stakes)
My best chance of a winner on the opening day of the meeting looks to be Persian Moon for Mark Johnston in the Acomb Stakes. He seems to be getting better and better with every run and did well to carry a penalty to victory over course and distance last time. The rain had got into the ground that day and he will be more at home on this better surface. He gave me a nice feel when bolting up at Yarmouth two starts back and I’m hoping he can be competitive up in class here. That’s the big question as he tackles Group company and will have to be on his A-game to beat the likes of Watan and Broome who have big reputations.
3.00pm York (Great Voltigeur Stakes)
No ride for me in the Great Voltigeur, but it will be interesting to see if Aidan O’Brien’s Kew Gardens can carry his penalty to victory. It will be a big task to beat the likes of Cross Counter and Wells Farhh Go. Even though the former beat me at Goodwood when I was aboard Dee Ex Bee, I reckon Wells Farhh Go is the one to beat. I was taken with his Newmarket win and the stable are always respected at this meeting.
3.35pm York (Juddmonte International Stakes)
Another race I’ll be watching from the weighing room, but it’s a race to look forward too. The obvious one is Poet’s Word who seems to be improving with every run. He was impressive at Royal Ascot and arguably even better in the King George last time. He sets the bar pretty high and it will be tough for the three-year-olds to beat him. If he is to get beaten, I reckon it could be Saxon Warrior. He showed what a class act he is in the 2000 Guineas and if he can bounce back to that form, he will be a danger to all.
Soldier In Action – 4.15pm York
I’m return to the saddle on Soldier In Action in the next. He ran better at the Shergar Cup than he has done all season and the handicapper has dropped him another 1lb. Hopefully he can be competitive here in a wide-open looking contest, but he wouldn’t want the ground to get any quicker. If he could hit the frame again I’d be delighted. Genetics won by miles last time and is a massive threat if staying, while Speedo Boy is another one to keep an eye out for.
Indian Sounds – 4.50pm York
My final ride of the day is another for Mark Johnston in about as competitive a nursery handicap as you will see run all season. I ride Indian Sounds who was a nice winner at Newbury last month on his third start. He races off a mark of 82 which hopefully gives him a chance. You can make a case out for so many of these, with Richard Hannon’s Ginger Nut and Moyassar looking obvious dangers.