Godolphin bank on Brazilian jockey Silvestre de Sousa
The Meydan Masters may have past but the Dubai racecourse will unveil yet another top-class rider tonight when Silvestre de Sousa makes his seasonal bow in the final race on the seven-race card.
The Brazilian jockey has been asked by Godolphin to ride in their Royal blue silks during the Dubai World Cup Carnival after another sensational year in Britain.
De Sousa failed on the last day of the season to overhaul Paul Hanagan for the champion jockey title.
It has been a demanding year for the rider, who partnered more than 1,000 mounts in 2011 which included a whistle-stop tour to Australia in November to ride Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed's Fox Hunt to seventh in the Melbourne Cup.
The 32 year old takes a supporting role tonight on Songcraft, one of three horses entered by the Dubai-based racing operation, after a well-earned break in his homeland, his first return for five years.
Although his bustling style may not compare to the more flashy attributes of other riders on the card his efficiency in the plate should see him earn his first entrance to the winners' enclosure here after eight rides in the UAE without a place.
"He would be more Kieren Fallon than Frankie Dettori; he's not a pretty rider but he is a very effective rider," said Mark Johnston, the trainer who provides many of De Sousa's mounts in Britain.
"He's always busy on the horse and he uses every part of his body. You can see he is thinking ahead. He is not a jockey that gets boxed in very often and you can almost see his mind ticking in the middle of a race, looking for a way out."
Tonight's card also features the UAE 2,000 Guineas trial, in which Godolphin's Rassam looks to hold a major chance, while the night kicks off with a Group 1 Arabian race in which Fryvolous, owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, faces 11 rivals.
Published: January 12, 2012 04:00 AM