Silvestre de Sousa vows to be at Ascot to collect crown after suggesting boycott
Champion jockey-elect Silvestre de Sousa has insisted he will attend Champions Day a week on Saturday to pick up his trophy having earlier appeared to suggest he would be boycotting the ceremony in protest against an 18-day ban he was handed on Thursday.
De Sousa, who was ruled out of riding at the showpiece meeting after picking up the ban under the totting-up procedure for whip offences, said in his 188bet blog that he would instead spend the day at home packing for a stint in Hong Kong over the winter.
The 37-year-old had said: "I feel it’s a bit harsh and frustrating that they have ruled me out of riding at Ascot next Saturday on a day I was supposed to be there to be crowned champion jockey for a third time. Instead, I’ll now be at home packing my bags for my winter stint in Hong Kong."
However, in a later tweet, he said: "I will be at Champions Day guys! This is a throwaway comment that has been taken out of context. I will be at Champions Day to collect the trophy that I have worked so hard for this season and my family are looking forward to it."
Naomi Lawson, head of PR for Great British Racing, said: "As far as we were concerned Silvestre was always coming to Qipco British Champions Day and we are really looking forward to crowning him for the third time on the day and welcoming all of his family.
"He has had a phenomenal season and it will be another great occasion on which to celebrate all of his achievements this year."
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