AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SILVESTRE DE SOUSA: Newmarket thoughts / Chelmsford Saturday

It will be strange not riding at Newmarket on Saturday, but I’m heading to Chelmsford in the evening and the rules are still in place that mean you can only ride at the one meeting. As frustrating as the situation is, as under normal circumstances I’d be able to go to both courses, it’s important that we stick to the guidelines. The reason I’ve chosen Chelmsford is King Power’s best chance of a winner on the day has to be Shine So Bright who is dropped in class. More about his chances below and my thoughts on the televised action at Newmarket…



1.50pm (Royal Lodge Stakes)

The first of the big two-year-old races where I’d have probably ridden Gear Up for Mark Johnston if I’d been there. He’s a really exciting colt who I have partnered for both of his victories to date. The latest of those came in the Acomb Stakes at York where he showed a really nice attitude. The step up to a mile looks perfect and it will take a good colt to beat him. Cobh looks the obvious threat on paper.

2.25pm (Cheveley Park Stakes)

A wide-open renewal of the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes for fillies. If I had to pick one I guess it would have to be Karl Burke’s Dandalla who is unbeaten in all three starts this campaign. She battled hard last time to add the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes to her Albany Stakes win at Royal Ascot. There is no reason to think that she won’t be able to handle another step up in class and has proven herself on a soft surface. The likes of Miss Amulet, Sacred, Happy Romance and Umm Kulthum all have their own claims, but she is the one for me.

3.00pm (Middle Park Stakes)

More Group One action, this time for the two-year-old colts, with the Middle Park Stakes. The likes of Method, Minzaal and Supremacy all set the bar high, while you have to respect the Irish challenge headed by Lucky Vega. However, I’d stick with The Lir Jet who gave me a great feel when winning on his debut at Yarmouth back in June (pictured). Since then he’s gone on to win the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot and has finished runner-up on both of his last two starts. He may just be the forgotten colt in this.

The Lir Jet gave me a great feel when winning on his debut at Yarmouth back in June

3.35pm – Cambridgeshire Handicap

The big betting race of the afternoon has to be the Cambridgeshire Handicap. If I’d been at Newmarket I’d have likely partnered Good Birthday for King Power and Andrew Balding. He hasn’t been at his best since finishing a good third in this 12 months ago off an 8lbs higher mark. They didn’t go quick enough for him at Newbury last weekend and he ran on to finish seventh when it was too late. They’ll go a good clip here and that will certainly help his cause. I can see him going well. You can make a case out for plenty of the others with the likes of Tempus and last week’s Newbury scorer Ilaraab looking likely types. However, Sir Michael Stoute doesn’t aim many at this race and his Derevo can go well.


As mentioned already my best chance has to be Shine So Bright in the Conditions stakes (6.45pm) over six furlongs. He has been a little disappointing this season so far, but this represents a major drop in grade. Six furlongs won’t be any bother and we will look to be as positive as usual on him. He’s relatively straightforward and hopefully he will take plenty of catching.

Stone Mason carries top weight in the 10-furlong handicap (5.45pm). He’s yet to win a race but has now slipped to a mark of 55 so hopefully can be competitive.

I’ve picked up the ride on Red October (6.15pm) who has already won twice this season. He has won both his starts at Chelmsford so hopefully won’t be far away on a track he likes. Solid Stone looks the one to beat though.

My final ride of the evening is Daysan in the staying novice stakes (7.45pm). There are only the four runners, but hopefully the step up in trip will help. He has shown enough in two starts to suggest he should go well although Amtiyaz will make it a fascinating contest.