Title-chasing jockey Silvestre de Sousa has ridden 90 winners this seasonPICTURE: Getty Images
De Sousa avoids injury after freak stalls incident
SILVESTRE DE SOUSA, chasing Richard Hughes in the race to be crowned champion jockey, was lucky to escape serious injury in a freak stalls incident at Lingfield on Wednesday.
De Sousa was set to partner Godolphin's Gold Hunter in the 6f juvenile maiden, but the colt sat down in the stalls and somehow turned 180 degrees in the tightest of spaces before bursting out, head first, at full tilt. The incident was captured in dramatic fashion on At The Races by a camera behind the stalls.
Richard Mullen, who was two stalls away from De Sousa on Digress, said: "I saw the horse go down and then come back up facing the other way. Silvestre was so lucky the back gate opened as the horse came up, as that freed his leg. If it hadn't opened his leg would have been shattered."
De Sousa was seen limping away and then nursing his ankle. His season could have been over and his title hopes in tatters, yet 15 minutes later he was weighing out for the next race.
He trails Hughes by 25 winners (115-90) in the title race with Ryan Moore, out with a wrist injury, in between the pair on 102.