By Jon Lees
GB: Three-time British champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa is aiming to return to action in time for the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster after missing the whole winter to undergo surgery.
The Brazilian has not ridden since early December but is on the way back after having an operation on his shoulder to deal with the after-effects of a fall in which he also broke his collarbone nearly 18 months ago.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work on my fitness at Peter O’Sullevan House, trying to get into the right shape after having the operation on my shoulder,” said De Sousa. “The recovery has been very slow but I hope to be back in another week or two but I will need to pass the doctor before I am allowed to ride.”
De Sousa, champion in 2015, 2017 and 2018, is retained by leading owners King Power Racing. He rode 100 winners last year, the 11th consecutive time he has hit or exceeded the century, even while his shoulder was bothering him.
“I had a fall in Chelmsford over a year ago [August 2019] and I got a trapped nerve in my shoulder so they had to operate to relieve the pressure,” said the jockey. “I lost all the muscle in my shoulder and the movement became very weak and was getting weaker as the season went on.
“I rode the whole season while I was still in some pain as I could never get an appointment to have the operation. Then December became the time to do it but I was COVID-positive and I couldn’t have it. I had to rebook and I just got it done six weeks ago.”
De Sousa spent the last two winters in Hong Kong but has had to sit out both international and domestic action this time. “I’ve missed my whole winter, when I make a bit of money for some sweets for the kids,” he said. “This time they got no sweets!”
He added: “I hope to come back in time to get a ride for Doncaster [March 27 and 28]. That’s when King Power want me and that’s what I am pushing myself for.”