Silvestre De Sousa Blog | 17th October 2017
Silvestre de Sousa 188BET Blog – Tuesday 17th October 2017
As Saturday approaches it has finally dawned on me that I am going to be crowned Stobart Champion Flat Jockey for a second time and it feels great. In fact, I have to say that it feels even better this time and that’s probably more to do with last year’s narrow miss.
Jim [Crowley] had unbelievable support in the final weeks of last season and became unstoppable in the end. I picked up a few silly bans and he ended up edging me out in a great battle which went all the way down to the wire.
It’s been a huge team effort this season and I really have so many people to thank. First of all, my agent Shelley Dwyer who has worked day and night finding me rides for so many different trainers. She has been unbelievable.
So many trainers have supported me this season and for that I shall be eternally grateful. If I had to single out a couple then it would have to be Mark Johnston and Roger Varian who have both given me opportunities on almost a daily basis since May. When powerful yards like that believe in you, it gives you the confidence to go out there and ride winners.
I’m not sure how many thousands of miles I have actually driven this season, but it must be pushing nearly 80,000. Therefore, I have to thank my driver Paul for taking that particular stress and strain away. He has made things so easy for me, meaning that sometimes I can just jump in the back without even knowing where we are going. Between him and my agent Shelley, they have managed the season brilliantly for me.
Of course, there are plenty of others to thank, including my sponsors 188BET who stepped in this season. But, I wanted to mention Dandy Nicholls who died earlier this year. I owe him so much as he was one of the first to believe in me and gave me my first ride over here. He was a fantastic man who I learnt so much from. It was him that really put me on the road. If he hadn’t given me the opportunity, I may also have never met my wife Vicky, so his impact on my life was huge.
It’s been a really hard season and I have pushed myself to reach this goal. It certainly hasn’t been easy and I’m looking forward to having a short holiday in Brazil next week.
Riding winners to changing nappies
However, the most exciting news of all is that I am about to become a father again next month. My wife Vicky and son Ryan are the rocks in my life and we are all so excited about welcoming another de Sousa into the world.
As for Ryan, I’m hugely proud of what he has achieved on his ponies and I get more advice on my riding style from him than anyone else! Plenty ask me whether I would encourage him to become a jockey and the truth is it really is up to him. He knows it’s not easy and it involves a hell of a lot of hard work. He sees me come back very late at night sometimes having had a bad day, yet I always have a smile on my face. It’s important to keep smiling and always remember that it’s only horseracing.
As for the rest of the winter, I guess I may end up in Japan and Hong Kong for a bit, but I’ve got a few nappies to change before that!