Silvestre de Sousa will on Saturday officially join weighing-room colleagues Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore as a three-time winner of the Stobart-sponsored British Flat jockeys’ championship.
The 37-year-old Brazilian will be crowned champion when the title race concludes on Britain’s richest raceday, Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.
A ban means De Sousa must sit out the action on the track, but he remains proud to match Dettori and Moore as the only current active riders to have won the championship three times – especially after he made a sluggish start to the season.
“It means the world to me to win the Stobart Flat Jockeys’ Championship for the third time,” De Sousa said.
“There are a lot of incredible jockeys in this country and some very good young jockeys coming through. All I want to do is ride more winners every year and give everything, not just for me, but for my family as well.
“I just want to make them proud of what I’m doing and achieving.
“The other two championship wins were good, but this one feels even better. I have put a lot of effort in this year to win the title again, and it feels that extra bit special after having such a slow start to the season.”
He added: “To have matched Frankie and Ryan is an honour. They are two of the best jockeys in the world and both have won a huge amount of big races.
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my career and it’s nice to be in that mix with Ryan and Frankie. I’m just a boy from a small town in northern Brazil, so to be in the position I am today, I am extremely proud of myself.”
After being runner-up in both 2010 and 2011, De Sousa was finally successful in 2015 and regained his title in 2017.
Teenage sensation Jason Watson is the latest product of the Andrew Balding academy to become champion apprentice, following the likes of Oisin Murphy and William Buick.
Watson, 19, who won the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood aboard Gifted Master, said: “I’m delighted to follow in the footsteps of past apprentices that have been produced from here and it is great to now be a part of that line.”
Watson rode his 100th winner of the year at Redcar on Friday, and has enjoyed plenty of success at Brighton, a track he refers to as “home”.
He added: “I really enjoy riding at my home course. I rode my first treble there, my mum and dad religiously go there every meeting, and so it really does feel like going home which is great!”