Image: Bruno Cannatelli
After winning the International Jockey Championship, Brazil’s Silvestre De Sousa watches alongside Tom Marquand to win the Group 1 at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The 12-time Group 1 winning jockey is currently third in the Hong Kong Jockeys’ Premiership with 19 wins, but has already had several suspensions this season.
Formerly based in Britain, De Sousa has had plenty of hit-and-run missions to Hong Kong during his career, including wins in the 2018 International Jockeys’ Championship and the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) in the same week.
De Sousa is now permanently in Hong Kong and even surprised himself with how quickly he made an impact.
“I honestly thought it was going to be slow,” De Sousa said.
“It’s okay, sometimes you get a suspension or a setback and you have to get back up again.”
“Fortunately, I was very lucky with the support I received.
“It’s very difficult and very different. I have my agent at home who does everything, but here there is something to do every day.
“If you miss the kick, then they pass you. Hong Kong is very fast. Everything is different.”
The Brazilian runs all four Group 1 events at Sha Tin on Sunday, with the first being the Butterfield in the Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
The seven-year-old has not won since May 2021 but has run some good races over the longer distance recently.
De Sousa then moves on to the Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) to partner the improving Cordyceps Six for Richard Gibson.
The two-time IJC winner says the gelding still has a long way to go.
“He’s a beautiful horse going forward,” he said.
“Richard (Gibson, trainer) is happy with him, he’s obviously got a stablemate to beat in my opinion but he should be there to shake it up.
“He was an improving horse last year, he improved very quickly and did very well as a three-year-old.
“I think he’s riding well and he was a bit unlucky when he was beaten at 1000m.
“He’s an improving horse and I think the race will bring him.
De Sousa’s other afternoon rides include Waikuku in the Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and Money Catcher in the Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Waikuku is currently a $26 chance to upset superstar Golden Sixty again, while Money Catcher is currently a $41 hope.
*Existing customers only. 2. horse racing bet. Except for SA & WA. T’s and C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.