Silvestre de Sousa crowned 2017 Stobart Flat Jockey Champion

DELIGHTED: Silvestre de Sousa said 2017 was an 'incredible year'
DELIGHTED: Silvestre de Sousa said 2017 was an 'incredible year'

Newmarket-based Silvestre de Sousa has capped off a memorable year by emphatically winning the 2017 Stobart Annual Flat Jockeys’ Championship.

The award is based on the number of winners ridden from January 1, 2017 to December 31, and De Sousa eclipsed all his rivals with 206 victories from 1082 rides, an impressive strike rate of 19 per cent and the only rider to top the 200 mark.

The 37-year-old, who was presented with £15,000 in prize money, was 30 winners clear of his nearest rival, Luke Morris, who had landed the annual title in 2015. Jim Crowley, winner in 2016, was third.

It’s the second major championship award for De Sousa, who had been crowned Stobart Champion Flat Jockey at the British Champions’ Day meeting in October, after riding the most winners between 2,000 Guineas day (May 6) at Newmarket and the Ascot Champions’ meeting.

“I am absolutely delighted to be crowned 2017 Stobart Annual Flat Jockey Champion,” said De Sousa.

“It’s been a truly incredible year and to pass 200 winners is a fantastic achievement.

“That was a target at the start of the year but it’s something I didn’t think was possible.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my agent, Shelley Dwyer, who has done an amazing job this year in getting me so many rides, without her I would not have been able to win this title.

“I’m looking forward to resting now and spending some time with my family before returning in 2018 to attempt to retain the Stobart Annual Flat Jockeys’ Championship.”

De Sousa won a total of £2,306,334 in prize money in 2017, while he comfortably beat his previous best of 167 winners in a calendar year (in 2011).

This year’s haul included six winners in one day on June 16, with five-winners at Sandown Park aboard Branscombe, Falmouth Light, Call Me Grumpy, Shargiah and Dominating before he travelled to Goodwood for his sixth victory of the day on l’vegotthepower who won by a head from well-backed favourite Marzouq in the mile handicap.

The Brazilian, who is now taking a well-earned break with his family, said he would like to win the title for a third time.