SILVESTRE DE SOUSA: Newbury Saturday

I suppose the best place to start this week’s blog is with last weekend’s trip to America to ride in the Arlington Million. Pivoine ran well to finish fifth behind Bricks And Mortar and it was probably just too hot a contest for him. The winner is unquestionably a very good horse and we just weren’t good enough. Anyway, no international travel required this weekend with five nice rides to look forward to at Newbury. Looking even further ahead, I will be back each day next week throughout York’s four-day Ebor meeting.




My first ride of the day is Secret Art who I ride for Gary Moore in the opening 1m 2f handicap. I actually won on him at Chelmsford last May when he was trained by William Knight, so I’m hoping he can end a fairly long losing spell here. He did win on the soft in his younger days and his lack of a recent win means his handicap mark has collapsed to 79. I suppose it’s just a question of whether he retains his ability at the age of nine – his latest turf run doesn’t inspire much confidence.

SUN POWER 1.50pm (Denford Stakes)

I’m looking forward to getting back aboard Sun Power in the big two-year-old race after two good recent runs at Ascot. He was a really good fourth to Pinatubo in the Chesham Stakes and that form was franked at Glorious Goodwood. Since then he was only beaten a neck in a Listed race behind another good one of Godolphin. The ground was on the soft side that day so he should be okay on the ground. He does meet a smart one in Kevin Ryan’s Juan Elcano, but we will give it a good go.

MORANDO 2.25pm (Geoffrey Freer Stakes)

Only the five runners in the Group Three stayers contest and it’s a case of the more rain the better for my mount Morando. He was brilliant for me on his reappearance at Chester when he routed them in the Ormonde Stakes on soft ground and he’d relish it if the ground was that bad come Saturday. He was run off his feet in the King George last time, but the drop in class and step up in trip will help here. He does have to carry a penalty which makes things tougher, but if the rain comes, he should be hard to beat.


The last two times I have ridden Toy Theatre for Mick Appleby we have won, so I’m hoping to make it a hat-trick in the seven furlong handicap. Those wins came a couple of years ago though and off a mark considerably lower than she races from here. The trip probably stretched her last time so hopefully she can go better despite the fact that her best recent efforts have come on the all-weather. It looks a competitive race with Ripp Orf looking dangerously well handicapped.

DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT 3.35pm (Hungerford Stakes)

The big race of the afternoon is the Hungerford Stakes where I ride another one for King Power and Andrew Balding in Donjuan Triumphant. He is just like Morando in that the more rain the better for him and I’m hopeful he can go well if it gets wet. He actually ran better at Goodwood than his finishing position suggests and I’m hopeful. Obviously Safe Voyage will have no problems with the ground either and he looks the one to beat.

Good luck


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