High-flying De Sousa seals 968-1 five-timer in Sandown blitz
Silvestre de Sousa, already setting a good pace in the Stobart jockeys' title race, completed a remarkable 968-1 five-timer at Sandown on Friday before adding a sixth at Goodwood in the evening.
De Sousa, a former champion jockey who has been in flying form this week, finished second on his other ride at Sandown, with 6-4 joint-favourite Tirania beaten a neck by Time Chaser in the fillies' handicap over a mile.
Hills estimated that neck saved them from a "seven-figure disaster."
The fab five were Branscombe (8-1), Falmouth Light (5-1), Call Me Grumpy (7-4), Shargiah (11-8) and the appropriately named Dominating (7-4).
De Sousa went on to make it six on the day at accumulative odds of 8,720-1 when forcing home I'Vegotthepower (8-1) by a head from favourite Marzouq in the mile handicap at Goodwood.
He added two more seconds to his one at Sandown with Road To Dubai also beaten a neck before he threatened to add a seventh on Envisaging but was run down by Harbour Rock.
De Sousa said: "It's been a good week and I'm very pleased with how it's going. I've had nice rides today from Roger [Varian] and Mr [Mark] Johnston too. I'm lucky to be riding some nice horses."
Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield said: "If Paddy hasn't put a bottle of champers in the post to James Doyle [rider of Time Chaser] yet, he certainly should consider it.
"While a Silvestre six-timer doesn't have the implications of a Ryan Moore sextet, it would have been a chunky payout and we've been forced into evasive action on the jockeys' title as Silvestre seems to be riding better than when he won it in 2015."
There was equal relief at Coral's headquarters in Stratford, with De Sousa being cut to 2-9 (from 4-9) to win back his title.
Coral spokesman David Stevens reported: "Following his four-timer at Yarmouth earlier in the week, Silvestre went one better with a fantastic five at Sandown, and he's now a red-hot favourite to win back the title from Jim Crowley.
"It's been another very good afternoon for De Sousa backers, although we are thankful for Time Chaser's win in the 4.20.
"Ryan Moore has the biggest following among punters, and had this have been Moore riding a quintet of winners on a televised Saturday card it would have been panic stations at Coral HQ. As it is, it's been an expensive afternoon but not a Black Friday."
Rupert Adams, spokesman for Hills, said: “If Silvestre had won all six it would certainly have been a seven figure disaster for us alone."