In entrance of a crowd of over 30,000 racegoers, the 37-year-old jockey beat a number of the world’s finest riders by topping the standings with 34 factors following the conclusion of the four-race competitors, setting a brand new file within the course of.
After ending second final yr to Zac Purton, the Brazilian, who claimed his third UK Flat Jockeys’ Championship title in October, went one higher with a positive efficiency throughout the four-race sequence.
The Hong Kong Jockey Membership created Longines Worldwide Jockeys Problem as a lead-up to the Hong Kong Worldwide Races, holding the inaugural working in December 1993.
Fourteen of the world’s high jockeys competed for the then three-race problem. From that preliminary success, the HKJC determined to run it as an annual occasion, tweaking the format through the years till it developed into the present 12-jockey four-race points-based competitors.
Competing jockeys obtain 12 factors for a race win, six factors for a runner-up and 4 factors for ending third with the general champion taking residence HK$500,000 (£50,000).
Eager to make amends for final yr’s close to miss, De Sousa collected factors in all 4 legs of the Championship which sees horses allotted randomly to every jockey.
Eire’s Colin Keane received his Hong Kong debut off to a fairy-tale begin within the first leg. The 2017 champion of Eire was making his first ever trip at Glad Valley and he made it a profitable one on the John Dimension-trained Particular Stars. Drawn widest of all in Gate 12, Keane broke alertly to take up a place in mid-division, monitoring the leaders earlier than launching his problem off the house flip. Particular Stars responded to run down the leaders within the residence straight and received by a size and 1 / 4 from de Sousa’s mount Midnight Rattler.
De Sousa struck within the second leg, with Gate 12 once more proving no handicap, as he broke Jimmy Ting’s Glory Star from widest of all to take a lead that he was by no means to give up.
US jockey Javier Castellano, who rode at double on the Breeders’ Cup final month, was making his first look on the competitors since 2006 and threw down a problem on Good For You. Nevertheless Glory Star had an excessive amount of in reserve and held on for a convincing win.
Keane picked up extra factors for coming in third on Tony Millard’s C P Energy, that means on the finish of leg two de Sousa led on 18 factors, with Keane second on 16, and Castellano third on six.
Vincent Ho received his title on the scoresheet within the third leg, when getting up near residence on Manfred Man’s Little Island, working down long-time chief Curling Luxurious and Castellano. De Sousa may solely handle third aboard favorite All You Know, however the 4 factors made it 22 factors general and elevated his lead over Keane on 16 to 6 with one leg to go. Ho tied with Castellano on 12 thanks to 2 second place finishes.
With the Championship up for grabs going into the final leg, de Sousa made it his in emphatic model on John Moore’s Experto Crede when dashing by on the rail to carry the problem of Ryan Moore on the John Dimension-trained Financial institution On Pink.
With none of his nearest rivals scoring factors in that final leg, de Sousa completed nicely clear on 34 factors courtesy of two wins and a second and third within the 4 legs. Keane was runner-up on 16, whereas Ho shaded Castellano for third.
Purton might have prevailed in final yr’s occasion however he didn’t earn some extent this time round, as did 2016 winner and pre-event favorite Hugh Bowman.
Talking afterwards, De Sousa mentioned: “After I appeared by the draw and races this morning, I knew I had a little bit of a job and would wish a little bit of assist.
“The horse within the second race was in good kind and got here out of his different race nicely. I made the working and was comfortable all the way in which and I attempted to stretch the sphere.
“I used to be advised the final horse was in good condition and all the pieces went very easily. I attempted to return the shortest route with him and I felt I used to be in the proper place as I adopted the horse I needed in entrance.
“If you go on the market you don’t take into consideration the cash, you simply take into consideration the efficiency. I used to be main coming into the final race final yr and Zac (Purton) got here and took the prize cash. This yr I went on the market assured of giving it my finest.
“If you end up using towards the very best like Ryan Moore, Hugh Bowman, Christophe Lemaire and Yutaka Take, it simply appears like a dream and it’s simply thrilling. When a second like this comes, you need to profit from it.”
Hong Kong racing returns at Sha Tin on Sunday (9 December) with the most important day within the calendar, the Longines Hong Kong Worldwide Races. The ten-race card options 4 Grade 1 contests together with the HK$28 million Longines Hong Kong Cup.