Silvestre de Sousa Banned For 10 Months By HKJC Over Betting Charge, Will Appeal

Silvestre de Sousa | HKJC

Decorated jockey Silvestre de Sousa has been suspended for 10 months by the Hong Kong Jockey Club after pleading guilty to a betting charge. 

The three-time champion jockey in Britain, who relocated to Hong Kong last year in search of better opportunities, pleaded guilty to the charge along with Vagner Borges, another Brazilian rider based in Hong Kong.

Borges was banned for 12 months by HKJC stewards. Both riders were found in breach of rule 59 (3), which says that “no jockey shall bet, or facilitate the making of a bet, or have any interest in a bet, on any race or any contingency relating to a race meeting”.

De Sousa, 42, achieved big-race successes in Britain aboard Farhh, Winter Power, Arabian Queen and more. 

According to a media release from the HKJC, he is reported to have “facilitated” Borges's bet on his mount, Young Brilliant, in a 1m1f handicap at Happy Valley on April 26.

The statement added that “there was no evidence before the stewards that Borges and De Sousa had ridden their horses in the respective race with any intention other than to obtain the best possible placing for their mounts”.

However, the stewards also underlined “it is fundamental to the integrity of racing that jockeys are not permitted to bet or to have an interest in a bet”.

Later in the day on Friday, De Sousa's solicitor, Harry Steward Moore, confirmed the rider would appeal, and said, “I'm instructed that he will be appealing it.”

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