Title-chasing de Sousa scoops Beverley treble

Silvestre de Sousa further subdued those who have questioned his championship-winning credentials with a 26-1 treble at Beverley.

Silvestre de Sousa further subdued those who have questioned his championship-winning credentials with a 26-1 treble at Beverley.

The tough Brazilian has been in exemplary form this summer, most notably at the East Yorkshire circuit, from where he has now claimed 15 winners this term.

His critics remain unconvinced, though, suggesting the jockeys' title is beyond him due to the lack of sustenance from a powerhouse yard.

His supporters beg to differ, and point to his blossoming association with Mark Johnston.

The Johnston-De Sousa alliance struck when Miss Rosie landed the Happy 21st Birthday Rachel Shubotham Maiden Auction Stakes.

The Librettist filly attempted to lead from the outset, but found the Nigel Tinkler-trained duo of Byrama and runner-up First Fast Now willing foes.

Johnston's 13-8 favourite was even fleetingly headed by the latter deep inside the final furlong, but De Sousa's mount battled back for a head verdict.

Johnston reported: "It was always in the back of my mind she might find this trip too short.

"I was even thinking the same thing during the race.

"She's a nice filly, though, and we'll probably go down that (nursery) route."

De Sousa immediately doubled his tally when Auto Mac (11-4) revelled in the descent into claiming company.

Neville Bycroft's three-year-old was energised by first-time of blinkers in the tyregiant.com-sponsored affair, never sighting another rival en route to a head success over 4-11 favourite Abidhabidubai.

Bycroft's grandson, Seb Spencer, said: "The blinkers have made all the difference under a strong ride."

Mojolika, the 7-4 favourite, then put the seal on the De Sousa benefit when streaking seven lengths clear in the two-mile tyregiant.com Stayers Handicap.

Keith Stone, representing winning trainer Tim Easterby, said: "They went no pace, but he'll be a lovely horse with another year on his back."

Coral again cut De Sousa in the jockeys' title betting, and the Barking-based firm's David Stevens admitted: "We were definitely guilty of not taking Silvestre de Sousa's championship chances seriously at the start of the season.

"But, as with Paul Hanagan 12 months ago, he is very much in our thoughts now."

John Wainwright claimed his first triumph for 389 days when Port Ronan showed the way home in division one of the tyregiant.com Sprint Handicap.

That grim statistic may be slightly misleading as the Kennythorpe-based handler only has 10 horses in training.

Wainwright's relief was still palpable as the Barry McHugh-ridden grey (9-2) made all of the running to take the five-furlong sprint by two and a half lengths from Commander Wish.

Wainwright said: "He's in at Beverley on Monday, with a penalty, and you'd nearly say he would take his chance after that."

Despite his extraordinary run of form, De Sousa was thwarted in the Finding Winners At irishbigracetrends.com Handicap when the front-running Old English gave way to Toto Skyllachy.

Frederik Tylicki came fast and late aboard Ollie Pears' nomadic six-year-old, who had a length and a quarter in reserve at the line.

Pears said of the 4-1 chance: "Maybe we'll try and find something back here now as he's a fair horse on his day."

Micky Fenton's positivity aboard Polish World (11-2) had a happier outcome in the tyregiant.com Handicap.

Paul Midgley's renowned trailblazer easily snuffed out the protracted challenge of Just The Tonic by a length and a quarter.

Midgley said: "Micky got his fractions spot-on, which is not an easy thing to do when you are carrying 10st."

Wainwright then underscored the value of momentum when Media Jury caused a 33-1 upset in division two of the five-furlong handicap.

"This horse would be as good as the other one (Port Ronan), but he's not as strong," reasoned the rejuvenated trainer.

"I still couldn't believe his price, though, and I had a good bet on him."

Those who had taken odds of 18-1 about Key Breeze winning the Dorothy Laird Memorial Trophy were also rewarded, courtesy of a last-to-first Lucy Alexander ride.

Alexander, who rode a winner over fences at Perth on Sunday, repeated the dose on the level when guiding Kevin Ryan's inmate to a two-length defeat of Rowan Lodge.

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