I will go to Ascot says banned de Souza
CHAMPION jockey Silvestre de Sousa says a riding ban which rules him out of British Champions Day at Ascot is “a bit harsh”.
But the Brazilian will attend the event next Saturday to receive his trophy despite earlier hinting he might not. De Sousa has been banned for 18 days for an accumulation of whip offences.
“I will be at Champions Day to collect the trophy that I have worked so hard for this season,” said the 37year-old rider.
De Sousa, who will be crowned champion jockey for the third time, told his Bet188 blog: “I feel it’s a bit harsh and frustrating that they have ruled me out of riding at Ascot next Saturday on a day I was supposed to be there to be crowned champion jockey for a third time.
“Everyone knows I give 100 per cent every time I get on a horse and when you ride as many as I do suspensions are inevitable.
“I just feel there could have been a bit more leniency shown when it comes to riding on Champions Day, particularly when you consider that I have broken the rules on just five of my 837 rides this season so far.”
Six days of De Sousa's ban have been deferred until January 3, meaning he will be able to ride Withold in the Melbourne Cup on November 6.