Silvestre De Sousa relishing Qatar Goodwood Cup challenge as Dee Ex Bee renews rivalry with 'incredible' Stradivarius

Silvestre De Sousa knows Dee Ex Bee has his work cut out to humble Stradivarius in the Qatar Goodwood Cup on Tuesday.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 9:59 am
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 10:25 am
Silvestre De Sousa steers Dee Ex Bee to maiden glory at Goodwood in 2017. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

But the jockey is relishing the opportunity to take on one of the finest horses in training in the Group 1 feature on the opening day of the Glorious festival.

And he reckons trainer Mark Johnston will have Dee Ex Bee in the best possible shape as they attempt to deny Stradivarius a history-making hat-trick in the 2m contest.

De Sousa steered the four-year-old Farhh colt to his maiden win at Goodwood in 2017 before they teamed up for second behind Melbourne Cup champion Cross Counter in the Gordon Stakes at the festival last summer.

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He was also in the plate when Dee Ex Bee finished second to Masar in the Derby at Epsom.

Last month they made the running in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot – only to be beaten into second spot by Stradivarius.

De Sousa said: ‘When you go up to 2m 5f you have to be careful not to go too fast and I had another horse pushing me all the way.

‘Dee Ex Bee was very tough to fight back for second place. He was coming back at the end.

‘The rematch will be interesting.

‘He has proven himself to be among the best stayers and I’m sure he will again turn up in top form.

‘It’s a totally different track to Ascot.

‘Stradivarius knows his way around there but so does Dee Ex Bee.

‘Stradivarius is very special, an incredible horse.

‘He’s a proper stayer, a champion who has everything and, unfortunately, we are always likely to bump into him.

‘We’ve just got to do our thing and see what happens.’

Johnston trained Double Trigger, the only other three-time winner of the Goodwood Cup, who won in 1995 before regaining his title in 1997 and successfully defending it the following year.

He also saddled Royal Rebel to glory in 2000 and Darasim in 2004.