De Sousa and Marquand named Champion Jockeys
Silvestre De Sousa was crowned the Stobart Champion Jockey on Saturday as the Brazilian finally laid to rest the ghosts of his 2011 defeat to Paul Hanagan.
Ahead of the Flat racing season finale at QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot, the South American was presented with the trophy by the defending champion Richard Hughes and 11-time victor Lester Piggott in front of the huge entourage his family had brought along for his big day.
Four years after losing out by just four wins, De Sousa romped to success this time around, leaving William Buick and Hanagan trailing 36 wins behind in a resounding victory.
His 132 wins came from 736 rides, with only Luke Morris having more rides throughout the season than the tireless Brazilian.
As well as his inaugural crown, De Sousa was also awarded a £25,000 prize – the first time the Champion Jockey has ever been financially rewarded – and he graciously donated a portion of this to Racetech to be shared amongst the stall handlers who have helped him so much this campaign.
Whilst De Sousa has long looked the winner of the main prize, the race to be named Stobart Champion Apprentice went down to a dramatic final day as Tom Marquand pipped long-time rival Jack Garritty to the crown.
Marquand took a slender one win lead into the final day of the Championships and chose to head to Catterick for five rides compared to Garritty, who was at Ascot for two big-race mounts. When Garritty finished unplaced on Eastern Impact in the QIPCO British Champion Sprint Stakes and then ninth in the Balmoral Handicap, the title was Marquand’s – who then went on to win aboard Sellingallthetime and leave the standings at 54-52 in his favour.
He was presented with the trophy and a cheque for £5,000 – again, a first for the victor – at the Yorkshire track and will have another formal presentation ahead of racing this weekend as he follows in the footsteps of Buick, Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori.