While Brazilian jockeys are fairly rare, the name of Silvestre de Sousa is one that has become commonplace among racing fans for some time. born in Sao Francisco do Maranhao, the flat-racing jockey is a British-based mastermind who has gathered a significant number of fans over the years. The youngest of ten in his household, Silvestre never sat atop a race horse until he was the tender age of 18!
Some jockeys might scowl at someone making such a late start to a specialist career, but it’s exactly what de Sousa carried out. A whole six months passed before he could get a career race, and but within just sixteen months of that debacle he was a champion apprentice and had lost his claim.
Training under th excellent Dermot Weld, he struggled to cope with the change in atmosphere and moved to England to train under David Nicholls. Shortly after, he had taken part in 195 runs and had scored 27 winners – a decent enough start!
By 2010, he had achieved a century of winners which brought Mark Johnstone, an important trainer, to him. Given his penchant for winning on small odds horses, Johnstone gave him his chance. With big wins at the Epsom Derby and at Royal Ascot, he started to really get noticed by others – to ride a winner in the Royal Ascot with such a middling background was truly immense.
Achievements & Highlights – International Stakes (2015), Champion Stakes (2013), Lonckinge stakes (2013), Dubai Turf (2013), Dubai World Cup (2014), Premio Roma (2012).
Major Wins – 59th on the list of all-time National Earnings for Jockeys in 2013.