AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SILVESTRE DE SOUSA: Sandown Saturday

The big meeting of the day is at Sandown with the Coral-Eclipse (3.35pm) the main Group One race on the card. Sadly, no ride for me in the big one but its always a race I look forward to as its great to see how the three-year-olds get on against their elders at this time of year. There are some really good supporting races and I’ve three nice rides to look forward to. These are my thoughts on those and the big race itself…



TIPPY TOES – 1.50pm (Coral Charge)

First up, I ride Tippy Toes for the Johnstons in the opening Group Three sprint. She’s a lovely spare ride to pick up but I must send my best wishes to Joe Fanning who would normally ride her. I’m stepping in to replace him as he had a really nasty spill at Musselburgh earlier in the week and will be on the sidelines for a bit. I wish him a speedy recovery. As for the filly, she’s got some nice pieces of form and ran a lot better than her finishing position suggests at Royal Ascot. This is a tough assignment, but she gets plenty of weight from her elders and has a nice draw. Obviously, the progressive types like Mitbaahy and Raasel will be hard to beat.

TRAIS FLOURS – 2.25pm (Coral Challenge)

I’m really looking forward to riding Trais Fluors again. He won for me at this track last June (pictured below, blue in centre) and is 7lbs lower than that mark this time around. I rode him at Thirsk back in April where to be honest he was unlucky as the gaps just didn’t open. He’s a horse that loves fast ground and a strong pace and he should get both of those. I’m hopeful he can be really competitive with Sinjaari looking the obvious one.

3.35pm Sandown (Coral-Eclipse)

The feature race of the day is the Coral-Eclipse where two really smart three-year-olds in Vadeni and Native Trail take on their elders. Native Trail has impressed in both Guineas, but I was really taken with the way that Vadeni won the French Derby. He showed a blistering turn of foot and was actually heavily eased despite winning by five lengths. This is obviously a lot harder but the three-year-olds get 10lbs here which is a lot of weight. I think he will be too good for the likes of Bay Bridge and Lord North. It promises to be a real cracker of a race though.

ALDHAJA – 4.10pm

My final ride of the afternoon is Aldhaja for Charlie Hills at the foot of the weights in the competitive looking 1m 2f handicap. I’ve never actually sat on him before, but he seems in good form and ran well at the track recently. He’s stepping up in class again here but gets loads of weight from the top ones and has a nice draw in trap five. Chairman looks a danger going for the hat-trick while Forest Falcon is one I fear despite shouldering 10st 2lbs.

Good Luck