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Silvestre de Sousa landing his fourth win on the card on Goodwood Zodiac

  PICTURE: John Hoy  

Defiant De Sousa lands quadruple to retake lead

CHAMPION jockey Silvestre de Sousa made a defiant stand at Epsom on Monday in the wake of Jim Crowley's assault on his crown as he booted home a 245-1 four-timer to retake the lead in the Stobart Flat Jockeys' Championship.

While it may be over seven weeks until the champion jockey is declared at Ascot on Qipco British Champions Day on October 15, De Sousa let it be known he will be fighting tooth and nail to retain his title by riding four successive winners.

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The rider steered Hurricane Rush, Ancient Astronaut, El Astronaute and Goodwood Zodiac to victory to move on to 81 wins. Crowley could not improve on his 79 winners with two seconds the best he could manage at Epsom.

De Sousa's quadruple came 24 hours after Crowley had leapfrogged him in the title race with a double at Goodwood following a treble at Windsor on Saturday.

Bookmakers flip-flopped on who will win the championship, with De Sousa supplanting his rival as favourite at 5-6 with Ladbrokes and Coral, while Crowley is 10-11 second pick with Coral and evens with Ladbrokes.

'I feel no pressure'

De Sousa insisted on Monday that the media spotlight on the title race and good form of Crowley was not causing him additional stress as the fixture list moves into the crucial autumn period.

"I feel no pressure, I feel as good as the rides I have," he said. "If the rides are good enough I feel I can deliver, but if I don't have the rides all I can do is do my best.

"I've just got to keep going. There's a long way to go but I've had a good day today. It means a lot to me."

 
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