Rampant De Sousa still expects championship battle despite hot run
Silvestre de Sousa is taking nothing for granted in his quest to regain his Flat jockeys' championship crown despite stretching clear of his rivals following a staggering spell of 37 winners so far this month.
The Brazilian rider, who was 20 clear of his nearest pursuer Ryan Moore in the Stobart-backed championship before the start of Windsor's evening fixture on Monday, started June as a 10-11 shot but is now 2-11 with Betfred and as low as 1-14 with Paddy Power.
Having ridden six winners in a day earlier this month, the 2015 champion gained another half dozen over the weekend, courtesy of a double at Lingfield on Saturday night and a four-timer at Pontefract on Sunday.
Speaking at Wolverhampton on Monday when he experienced a rare blank, De Sousa said: "It has been a good month as I've been going to meetings for four or five rides every day and I'm very lucky the good rides have come at the same time.
"My agent Shelley Dwyer is doing a good job – I've ridden for trainers who haven't used me in the past – we're working hard and hopefully it will pay off later in the season.
"It's nice to win the championship once but twice would be even better and, all being well, I'll be going right through to the end of the season."
De Sousa has racked up 56 winners compared to Moore's 36, while reigning champion Jim Crowley – who like Moore was in action at Windsor – was tied in third place with William Buick on 32.
However, despite his significant lead, the title-leader insists it is still all to play for.
"I still don't think I should be favourite as although I'm freelance I have connections to please and go where they want me to go," De Sousa said.
"I think William Buick has got a great chance and last year's winner Jim Crowley is in a good position as well and there's still a long way to go."
Such is Paddy Power's confidence in De Sousa, however the firm on Monday opened a 'betting without' market, which is headed by Crowley at 13-8.
Firm spokesman Paul Binfield said: "Silvestre has been the most consistent jockey for the last couple of seasons with nearly 150 winners a year and although Ryan could get to him, he’s unlikely to go for it, while the rest of the pilots don’t have the necessary firepower."
Jockeys' title without De Sousa
Paddy Power: 13-8 Jim Crowley, 5-2 Ryan Moore, 4 Paul Hanagan, 5 William Buick, 10 Andrea Atzeni, 14 Jamie Spencer, 25 Luke Morris, 33 Joe Fanning, 50 James Doyle, Oisin Murphy.