Champions Day: Silvestre de Sousa says riding ban 'harsh' but champion jockey will collect trophy

Silvestre De Sousa
De Sousa was also the British champion jockey in 2015 and 2017
Qipco British Champions Day
Date: Saturday 20 October Venue: Ascot Racecourse Coverage: Commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live Race times: 13:25-16:30 BST (Champion Stakes 15:50)

Champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa says a riding ban which rules him out of British Champions Day at Ascot is "a bit harsh".

But the Brazilian will attend the event on 20 October to receive his trophy despite earlier hinting he might not.

De Sousa has been banned for 18 days for an accumulation of whip offences.

"I will be at Champions Day to collect the trophy that I have worked so hard for this season," said the 37-year-old rider.

De Sousa, who will be crowned champion jockey for the third time, told his Bet188 blog: "I feel it's a bit harsh and frustrating that they have ruled me out of riding at Ascot next Saturday on a day I was supposed to be there to be crowned champion jockey for a third time.

"Instead, I'll now be at home packing my bags for my winter stint in Hong Kong."

He later said it was a "throwaway comment" and he would not miss being presented with his trophy.

"Everyone knows I give 100% every time I get on a horse and when you ride as many as I do suspensions are inevitable," he said.

"I just feel there could have been a bit more leniency shown when it comes to riding on Champions Day, particularly when you consider that I have broken the rules on just five of my 837 rides this season so far, but the decision has been made."

De Sousa was given the ban after being found guilty of using his whip above the permitted level on too many occasions in a six-month period.

Six days of De Sousa's ban have been deferred until 3 January, meaning he will be able to ride Withold in the Melbourne Cup on 6 November.

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