Jockey Silvestre Desouza
Jockey Silvestre Desouza completed a rare landmark, when he rode the David Baron-trained Sheastar to an exciting victory on Saturday. He fulfilled a cherished dream of riding a hundred winners in a single season in England, and joined an elite group of jockeys who have done this before him. His century includes a "listed race" at York and the biggest two-year-olds race in England this year. In the overall standings for 2010, he finished in sixth position behind Paul Hanagan, Richard Hughes, Ryan Moore, Kieren Fallon and Frankie Dettori.
They are the only six jockeys who rode more than a hundred winners this year. A mere look at these names is enough to make one realize that this is quite an awesome performance. There have been many foreign jockeys who have ridden on Indian soil before emerging as champion riders in Europe. Most of them came here as youngsters, before maturing into top class professionals.
The names that immediately come to mind are those of Walter Swinburn, Mick Kinane, David Parnell, Kieren Fallon and Richard Hughes. Silvestre has been riding in India for the last couple of years, and has been improving with time.
His victories on Antonios in The Indian Derby 2009 and Beautiful Stranger in The Poonawalla Multimillion this year have been the highlights of his visits to India. His abilities to nurse a horse in the backstretch before riding powerfully in the straight are quite noticeable.
The numerous races that he has won in extremely close finishes in Bangalore and Mumbai come readily to mind. One of the biggest advantages that he enjoys over the others is his ability to ride at the lowest allotted weight. Speaking to Indiarace from his home in London this morning, Silvestre Desouza said, “I am so lucky to have achieved this milestone on the last day of the season. The filly gave me a good feeling throughout the race and I knew much before reaching the winning post that this was my hundredth winner.
It has been a wonderful six months for me. I have ridden all over the country and for quite a few trainers. I am looking forward to spending the winter months in India , and shall be reaching Bangalore on the 15th of November. For the fourth successive year, I have been retained to ride for Martand Mahindra.