Five for de Sousa at Sandown

Five for de Sousa at Sandown

Silvestre de Sousa ©Healy Racing Photos Silvestre de Sousa continued his magnificent run of form with a near 969-1 five-timer at Sandown. Champion jockey in the UK in 2015, the Brazilian led this year’s British title race by 11 winners ahead of Friday’s action after riding four winners at Yarmouth on Wednesday and one at Newbury on Thursday. He got the afternoon off to a flyer aboard the Mark Johnston-trained Branscombe (8-1) in the five-furlong novice event and swiftly doubled up for the Middleham handler on Falmouth Light (5-1) in the seven-furlong maiden. De Sousa brought up his hat-trick as Roger Varian’s 7-4 favourite Call Me Grumpy scooted clear in the seven-furlong handicap and it was similarly easy work aboard his stablemate Shargiah, who comfortably justified 11-8 favouritism in the nine-furlong handicap. He looked to have a big chance of continuing his domination of the card in the one-mile fillies’ handicap aboard 6-4 joint-favourite Tirania, but she was beaten a neck by market rival Time Chaser, ridden by James Doyle. De Sousa sat out the penultimate race of the day, which went to 7-1 shot Jupiter Light, but book-ended the card aboard the Johnston-trained Dominating (7-4 favourite) in the last.
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Bertie bids for more glory at Downpatrick

Bertie Bell (Davy Russell) winning over hurdles at Downpatrick ©Healy Racing Photos Bertie Bell bids for a third victory at Downpatrick in the Molson Coors Beginners Chase on Sunday Brian Hamilton’s charge was placed behind high-class types Airlie Beach and Fugi Mountain in his younger days before opening his account in a bumper at this track in May of last year. He was last seen gaining a first win over hurdles at the County Down circuit last August and kicks off his career over regulation fences on his first start in almost 10 months. Hamilton said: “He won a point-to-point as a five-year-old, so hopefully jumping won’t be a problem to him. “He’s had bits and pieces of problems and isn’t that easy to train, but he’s fit and handles Downpatrick well. “If he jumps round he has to have a chance.” Bertie Bell’s rivals include recent Wexford maiden hurdle winner Artical Eleven and the long-absent Salsa Sensation, who is trained by Ted Walsh for leading owner JP McManus.
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Veteran Joe returns for Midsummer Sprint

Monsieur Joe winning the Kilfrush Stud Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary ©Healy Racing Photos Trainer Paul Midgley is hoping veteran sprinter Monsieur Joe can prove he is no back number in the Midsummer Sprint at Cork on Sunday. The Listed prize has gone to the raiding party in four of the last six years and Midgley’s charge is the only British-trained runner. The son of Choisir is in the twilight of his career at the age of 10, but was not disgraced when fourth behind stablemate Final Venture in the Achilles Stakes at Haydock earlier this month. Midgley saddled Line Of Reason to win this race in 2015. “I thought he ran well at Haydock and he’s come out of the race in good form,” said the Westow-based trainer. “I hope the ground doesn’t try out too much. I don’t think there’s any rain forecast, but if they did get a shower or two it would be gratefully received. “Monsieur Joe likes his little trips to Ireland and we have won this race before. “It would be nice to do it again.” Fozzy Stack takes the wraps off South African import Misty Birnam, who was a multiple winner in his homeland and finished third in a Grade One last July. Stack said: “The trip is probably a bit short for him – he’s probably more of a six- or seven-furlong horse – but with his rating it’s not easy to find races for him. “He’s settled in well, but it will be his first run in nearly 12 months, so we’ll see how we go.” Barry Murphy’s Spirit Quartz, successful 12 months ago when trained by Robert Cowell, also features.
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