De Sousa manages to end tough year on positive note

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SILVESTRE de Sousa put a season of disappointment behind him with a high-profile York treble which saw Ahzeemah enter Melbourne Cup calculations after a battling win in the Lonsdale Cup.

This was a stellar race. Ascot Gold Cup second Simenon, trained by Willie Mullins, set a demanding pace. Ahzeemah drew alongside and inched clear before the Irish raider battled back before going down by a neck.

De Sousa, who came to prominence in Yorkshire before switching to Godolphin at the beginning of last season, has been down on rides this year because of the drugs scandal which enveloped Sheikh Mohammed’s operation.

“He’s tough and I’m very very pleased to get a big winner on the born, it’s been a tough year,” the Brazilian-born jockey told the Yorkshire Post.

“He’s a definite one for the Ascot Gold Cup next year.”

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford nominated the Melbourne Cup or the Qipco stayers’ race on Champions Day at Ascot as more immediate priorities.

De Sousa required all his strength 35 minutes later when the globetrotting City Style repelled the late challenge of Danadana in the Sky Bet Strensall Stakes.

The seven-year-old was a beneficiary of the overnight thunderstorm that knocked out the electronic jockeys’ scales in the winner’s enclosure and is a horse who has an incredible constitution.

“He’s spent all of his life travelling around,” explained Crisford.

“He started off in America and since he’s been with us he’s been in Europe, he’s been in Dubai and he’s been in Singapore.

“He spends his life on an aeroplane and he’s not sure if it’s winter or summer, but it doesn’t affect him, as you could see today.”

De Sousa and Godolphin then completed a welcome treble when Golden Town took the Maiden Stakes.

Short Squeeze was a popular winner of the finale.

His jockey Martin Dwyer is in legal limbo as he tries to contest an eight-month ban that was passed by stewards in India for allegedly preventing his mount Ice Age from running on its merits.

It is doubtful that the former Derby-winning jockey would have received any ban in this country.

Earlier Chancery won the Sky Bet Stakes under Danny Tudhope.

It was Nawton trainer David O’Meara’s third victory this week and he is York’s leading trainer this year with 10 scalps.