Silvestre de Sousa rides 245-1 four-timer to regain lead in title race

Horse racing Silvestre de Sousa rides 245-1 four-timer to regain lead in title race De Sousa favourite again after Jim Crowley draws Epsom blank
David Wachman announces he will retire from training this autumn

The market leaders in the betting for this season’s Flat jockeys’ championship swapped places for the second time in three days on Monday, as Silvestre de Sousa and Jim Crowley went head-to-head on the bank holiday card at Epsom Downs on what proved to be a one-sided afternoon. De Sousa started the day two winners behind Crowley, but surged into the lead with victories in the first four races.

El Astronaute, an 11-4 chance for the Indigenous Handicap over five furlongs, was the only favourite in De Sousa’s four-timer, which also included wins on Hurricane Rush (11-4), Ancient Astronaut (4-1) and Goodwood Zodiac (5-2) at combined odds of 245-1. Crowley, who had replaced De Sousa as the title favourite on Monday morning after riding 20 winners in a fortnight, drew a blank from five rides at Epsom, including a half-length second to Hurricane Rush aboard the 6-5 favourite, Firefright.

De Sousa was odds-on for last year’s title from early July, when Ryan Moore sustained an injury which kept him out of action until September. Richard Hughes’s decision to retire from the saddle a couple of weeks later allowed the Brazilian rider to coast home 36 winners clear of his nearest rival, with 132 victories in all.

This year’s riders’ championship, however, seems sure to be much closer and could yet run all the way to Champions Day at Ascot on 15 October, which marks the official conclusion of the title race.

De Sousa, two clear of his main rival with 81 winners, is now odds-on once again to retain the championship with most bookmakers, although William Hill still offer even money. Crowley, meanwhile, is an 11-10 chance with Stan James, creating a 97.5% book at the best prices available about the front two which underlines the nip-and-tuck nature of this year’s race.

“I feel no pressure,” De Sousa said after his third win of the day. “I feel as good as the ride I have. Things are going well, the treble helps and I hope to keep it going.”

Ryan Moore back from injury with a bang aboard Spatial at Newmarket Read more

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Jamie Codd, Ireland’s leading amateur rider over jumps, added a victory at the home of the Derby to a record that includes success at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals when Hubertas, the 3-1 favourite, took the Amateur Derby over the Classic trip of 12 furlongs.

“It’s great to do this on my first ride here,” Codd said. “When you see it on TV, you don’t think it’s daunting, but when you ride it, there’s a massive pull for the first five furlongs and even the camber in the home straight is quite tricky. I was probably there too soon, but my excuse is I’m a jump jockey.”

Limato, the July Cup winner, has re-emerged as a contender for the Group One 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park on Saturday having seemingly been ruled out by Henry Candy, his trainer, after finishing second in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York earlier this month.

Candy also has Twilight Son, last year’s winner, among the five-day entries for Saturday’s race and the ground at Haydock is likely to determine which of his Group One-winning sprinters lines up. Limato would prefer a sound surface, while Twilight Son likes some cut in the ground and could wait for the Champions Sprint at Ascot in October if the going is too fast this weekend.

“If it came up too firm for Twilight Son and if Limato looked in the sort of form that he could cope with it, then he’d run,” Candy said. “It would be the closest

between races he’s ever attempted.”

Limato was the 3-1 favourite for Saturday’s race when the market opened but was taken out of the betting after his run at York. He is now back in the betting as the 5-1 second-favourite behind Quiet Reflection, the Commonwealth Cup winner at Royal Ascot, at 9-2.

David Wachman, who has saddled the 1,000 Guineas winner in both England and Ireland, said on Monday that he will retire from training at the end of the season.

“After much deliberation, I have decided to hand in my trainer’s licence at the end of this season,” Wachman, who trained Legatissimo to win the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket last season, said in a statement. “While not taken easily, the decision to retire will allow me to spend more time with my family as well as pursuing various other business interests.”

Wachman, who is 45, started training in 1996 and moved to his current stable near Cashel in 2002 after marrying Kate Magnier, whose father John heads the Coolmore Stud’s racing and bloodstock syndicate. His other big-race winners included Again, in the 2009 Irish 1,000 Guineas, and Bushranger in the 2008 Middle Park Stakes.

“Over the last 20 years I have trained for many wonderful owners and I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and thanks to them as they have been absolutely central to the success that we have enjoyed here,” Wachman said.

“The nature of training is such that you have plenty of ups and downs but I’ve been lucky enough to have many good days and train some top-class horses during that time. Also a big thank you also goes to each and every one of my staff members for their unwavering loyalty, dedication and commitment and I wish them all the very best for future.”

Read More at The Guardian

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