Guest post written by The Jag
Continuing our look at leading jockeys in the world, today we are looking at Silvestre de Sousa.
Silvestre de Sousa is one of the up and coming flat race jockeys at the present time, and has been slowly working hard to get to the stage where he is being noticed in high places.
He was born on 31 December 1980, and is currently living in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. His first win in Britain was on 1 January 2006, and has recently been riding regularly for Trainer Mark Johnston.
De Sousa is an unusual jockey, because he is from Brazil, and is the youngest of a reasonable size family of ten brothers and sisters, brought up in Sao Paulo. He took to racing there, and was a top apprentice in his own country with 82 wins.
Then he decided to take the big step, and moved to Ireland to ride out for Dermot Weld. This was quite a gamble for anyone, but he worked hard, and stayed with him until 2004. From there, he sailed across the Irish Sea to David Nicholls to get his his first success in Britain on New Year’s Day, 2006, at Southwell.
Mark Johnston started to notice, in De Sousa, that there was a jockey with confidence and talent. This acknowledgement came after using him more and more, due to some difficulties with his main jockey Greg Fairley and Joe Fanning. Joe Fanning has had some injuries preventing him from riding, but Greg Fairley has had a bit of a cloud over his head since the British Horseracing Authority charged the jockey with corruption offences in May 2011.
This left an opening for De Sousa, and he has been busy proving his worth to Johnson. This has resulted in him getting plenty of rides under his belt both with Johnson and other trainers.
These rides allowed Silvestre to become a genuine contender for the jockeys’ championship in 2011, and he had a solid year with a couple of Royal Ascot wins to boot. I famously changed sides to support the Brazilian mid season in the jockeys’ championship, from my original selection of Paul Hanangan, only to come second!
A solid grafter, and reliable.
For up to date stats, here is the link to the Sporting Life:-
http://horses.sportinglife.com/Stats/S De Sousa
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