Hong Kong’s jockey roundabout is spinning into overdrive as the biggest week of the year approaches and Silvestre de Sousa is aiming to capitalise at Sha Tin this Sunday (2 December) as he replaces Chad Schofield on two highly-promising youngsters.
De Sousa has ridden four winners in as many weeks since his return to Hong Kong – including a G2 success aboard Eagle Way in the Jockey Club Cup – and has done so with a different mental approach this time around.
“I definitely feel more relaxed this year,” he said. “Everything went right in my first year here but the second time I was a bit lost – it just wasn’t me. But now I feel I handle the system a little bit better.
“Racing here is like a roundabout – everyone gets a turn – and if you lose one ride you can get two others. Jockeys at home ask me how can you get jocked off and stay smiling. I just think we are blessed to get up in the morning and be able to go to work. Like Tony Cruz says, you just have to go with the flow, man!”
Treasure on the hunt for winning reappearance
That merry-go-round has turned in the Brazilian’s favour on Sunday as he takes over from the bang-in-form Schofield aboard Hainan Star in the Cameron Handicap (1400m) and Refined Treasure in the Peninsula Golden Jubilee Challenge Cup (1000m.)
Ricky Yiu’s Hainan Star has shown abundant promise in two starts over 1000m and 1200m and moves up in distance again, while Refined Treasure reeled off three wins in a row over the minimum trip for trainer Tony Millard before undergoing surgery for knee problems in May.