SILVESTRE DE SOUSA: Royal Ascot Friday

What a frustrating day Ladies Day was.. two seconds to add to my second on Beat The Bank on the first day is tough to take.

First up Fox Chairman had no luck in running in the Hampton Court Stakes when he ran on once the gaps had opened to finish second to Sangarius. I suppose it’s just one of those things but it’s frustrating all the same.

Then Dee Ex Bee ran a cracker to finish second in the Gold Cup. He was off the bridle a long way from home but as is his way, he just kept finding for pressure. He was just beaten by a very good horse in Stradivarius who now has two Gold Cups to his name.

But Thursday was all about Frankie Dettori who continued his love affair with Ascot – hats off to him and he is riding this week as well as he has ever done.

At least the rain stayed away on Thursday so we will dust ourselves down and go on again on Friday.



JM JACKSON 2.30pm Albany Stakes

A big field like you might expect for the Albany Stakes for the two-year-old fillies and I ride Jm Jackson for Mark Johnston. She has shown plenty of promise in her two starts to date over five furlongs and the way she has been finishing those means she is well worth stepping up to this trip. The ground continues to dry so the apparent draw bias (high) from earlier in the week might disappear. However, I’m happy to have stall 20 although the speedy American horse (Nayibeth) breaks from stall one. Hopefully my filly can be competitive.

BANGKOK 3.05pm King Edward VII Stakes

It was obviously disappointing that Bangkok didn’t run his race in the Derby (pictured) where I felt he failed to handle the track. We know he is better than he showed that day and it will be good to get him on a more conventional course like Ascot. He’s previously been on a steep upward curve and I’m hoping he can reproduce the form he showed at Sandown. Obviously, the O’Brien team are having a great week and Japan looks the one to beat. He was good at Epsom and looks to be slowly living up to potential.

3.40pm Commonwealth Cup

No ride for me in the Commonwealth Cup which looks tailor made for Ten Sovereigns. He drops in trip from a good run in the 2000 Guineas and looks all about speed.

PRETTY POLLYANNA 4.20pm Coronation Stakes

It’s nice to be back aboard Pretty Pollyanna in the Coronation Stakes and she ran a really nice race to be second behind Hermosa on her reappearance in the Irish 1000 Guineas. She is unquestionably a smart filly and I suppose the more the ground dries out, the better her chance. Whether she is quite up to reversing the form with Hermosa remains to be seen, but we will give it our best shot.

AIM POWER 5.00pm Sandringham Stakes

Another huge field for the Sandringham where Aim Power takes her chance after a disappointing reappearance run. I rode her on her first two starts last summer and actually won on her at Windsor. She has to step up massively on anything she has shown to date and this is a huge ask.

PIVOINE 5.35pm Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes

My final ride of the afternoon is Pivoine for Andrew Balding and King Power. The big worry with him is the ground as he is definitely better on a quicker surface. He showed promise over this trip last time in a better race, so there are definitely grounds for optimism in a wide open race. Baghdad is a nice horse and may be hard to beat with Ryan Moore in the saddle.

Good luck


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