Champion Jockey Silvestre de Sousa’s agent says they breathed a sigh of relief when his ban did not cover the Melbourne Cup. The Brazilian – who is about to be crowned champion jockey for the third time – has been handed an 18-day ban by the British Horseracing Authority with six of the days deferred until January 3.
De Sousa will miss October 23-27 and October 29 to November 3, ruling him out of British Champions Day at Ascot, but he will be available for the big race at Flemington on November 6.
De Sousa picked up the suspension under the totting-up procedure, having been found guilty of using his whip above the permitted level on too many occasions.
De Sousa’s agent, Shelley Dwyer, said: “As it was a referral it would be hard to appeal it, so it’s just one of those things.
“There were a few rides at Ascot on the cards, but the main thing now is getting him out to Hong Kong so he can get there and ride on the 4th, which is a big meeting.
“Of course the Melbourne Cup was playing on our minds as well and that was stressing me a bit, so that’s all good.
“As much as it is a pain missing Champions Day, it is what it is – that’s the totting-up system. It’s very difficult, though, as he’s had over 900 rides and five whip bans, but they are the rules.”