SILVESTRE DE SOUSA: Newcastle Saturday

It’s a trip up north to Newcastle on Saturday for their big raceday with the feature race being the Northumberland Plate. I’m actually making my way up there by train tomorrow with Chris Dwyer who will keep me company. I’ve got a busy afternoon with seven rides including Austrian School in the big one. Anyway, more about him and my other chances later.

Looking back at Royal Ascot last week and it was a huge relief to ride a winner in the very last race of the meeting. Cleonte did it really well in the Queen Alexandra Stakes and after so many near-misses it was just so nice to get one on the board. The special thing was that I was wearing the blue and white King Power Racing colours and that meant everything. It was their first Royal Ascot winner and after a few second places I was worried it just wasn’t going to happen. It was an emotional victory and I found myself looking to the skies afterwards. I’m hopefully going to be heading back to Brazil next week as I’ve got a seven day holiday to serve from Ascot. It will be a nice chance to catch up with the family and recharge my batteries, so there will be no blog next week, but I will be back the week after.

SATURDAY

NEWCASTLE

DEEP INTRIGUE (1.50pm)

I kick things off aboard Deep Intrigue who I haven’t ridden since he finished third for me on his debut at Bath back in March. He has won three since including over course and distance in February. I suppose the big positive with him is he seems to thrive on the all-weather with all three wins coming on that surface. He was well beaten at Goodwood last time but he could easily bounce back at this track.

LISSITZKY (3.00pm)

The consolation race for the Northumberland Plate where I ride Lissitzky for Andrew Balding. He won really nicely at Newmarket two starts back and then failed to build on that when a little below par at that same course last time. The first time cheekpieces he wore last time are gone now and I’m hoping he will bounce back here. He has gone well on the all-weather in the past so the switch to this surface should be fine too.

AUSTRIAN SCHOOL (3.35pm – Northumberland Plate)

The big race of the afternoon is the Northumberland Plate where I ride Austrian School for Mark Johnston. He won really well at Musselburgh on his reappearance and the ground went against him when a disappointing favourite for the Chester Cup. He then bounced back with a good third to Dee Ex Bee in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown and that form looks strong now after that ones run in last week’s Gold Cup. I’m prepared to forgive him the disappointing run at York last time as the front two went too hard too soon. The reality is he has a tough task here with a big weight and a wide draw, but he has a touch of class and it has paid to be drawn out wide in recent years. There looks to be dangers everywhere with Gibbs Hill being the obvious one despite the long absence.

FRANCOPHILIA (4.10pm)

I have yet to ride this daughter of Frankel who finally got off the mark at Lingfield in May. The ground went against her last time and she can go well back on the all-weather.

MRS BOUQUET (4.45pm)

Only the seven runners, but it looks a hot little contest over five furlongs. I ride Mrs Bouquet, the only winner in the field, who won here earlier in the month. The combination of a step up to six furlongs and soft ground may have caught her out at Chester last time, so the return to this trip on the all-weather looks ideal. She should go well but this won’t be easy giving weight away to some potentially useful colts.

VALE OF KENT (5.15pm)

Another one for Mark Johnston at the top of the weights in Vale Of Kent. He actually ran a cracker when seventh to Afaak in the Royal Hunt Cup last week and will go close here if in the same form. He has won on the all-weather before and can hopefully go close.

ANYTHINGTODAY (5.50pm)

My last ride of the afternoon is another topweight (I’ll be able to have a good breakfast). Anythingtoday hasn’t won for nearly two years but his turn didn’t look far away when a good second at Ripon last time. He’s only 1lb higher here and should go well with his stable in good form. He’s another who has won on the all-weather before so that’s another positive. Howman has been gelded since we last saw him and maybe the one to beat.

It’s the Irish Derby on Saturday too…

Irish Derby (5.20pm Curragh)

The first, second and fourth from Epsom meet again in the Irish Derby but I’m sticking with Anthony Van Dyck to win again. He won well at Epsom and I reckon he will come out on top again.

Good luck
SILVESTRE


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