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International Jockey’s Challenge goes to Great Britain

Steve Bennett in News 6 Dec 2018
2018 International Jockey's Challenge winner - Silvestre De Sousa

Brazilian born Silvestre De Sousa has taken out the International Jockey’s Challenge in Hong Kong.

Representing Great Britain, the 37-year-old rider had to wait until the final leg of the challenge to claim victory, but he did it in style, winning his second race of the four-leg championship, gapping the rest of the field.

In a star-studded who’s who of racing, De Sousa defied the odds and took all before him as the three-time champion British rider surprised many by scoring points in all four legs of the challenge.

The night got off to a bang, with a spectacular fireworks display that only Hong Kong could deliver.

But then, it was down to business and the first leg (race 4) was run and won by Ireland’s representative rider Colin Keane when he rode the John Size-trained Special Stars to victory.

In an open betting affair, he was sent out a $5.00 favourite and didn’t disappoint, beating home the competition winner Silvestre de Sousa on Midnight Rattler ($21) and Hong Kong rider Karis Teetan on Godspeed ($15).
Then in the second leg (race 5), De Sousa rode the first of his two winners when he steered Glory Star home as a $3.70 favourite, with Colin Keane earning more points as he finished second on C P Power ($13) with Matthew Poon earning his first points of the night on Ishvara ($9) finishing third. 
Along came the third leg (race 7) and Hong Kong representative Vincent Ho picked up his first winner when saluting aboard Little Island ($18) to the surprise of the crowd as he beat home the American rider Javier Castellano on Curling Luxury ($11) with the heavily backed All You Know ($3.10) finishing third with De Sousa in the saddle.
As the fourth leg (race 8) approached, all of the top four riders were in contention to take out the championship but there weren’t too many who would have expected to see the race end how it did.

De Sousa shocked the grandstand-filled crowd by steering home outsider Experto Crede ($23.00) ahead of Ryan Moore on race favourite Bank On Red ($5.00) with Matthew Poon finishing third aboard the rank outsider Sumstreetsumwhere ($41.00).
With his nearest rivals failing to score any points in the last leg, De Sousa ended the night a big winner with 34 points, well clear of the second-placed Irish rider Colin Keane who finished the challenge on 16 points while Vincent Ho and Javier Castellano finished equal on 12 points.

The 2018 International Jockey’s Challenge trophy is headed to England in the hands of a very delighted Silvestre De Sousa.   


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International Jockey’s Challenge goes to Great Britain

Brazilian born Silvestre De Sousa has taken out the International Jockey’s Challenge in Hong Kong.

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