Power-packed De Sousa can lift Hercules home to victory
FORMER three-time British champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa’s return to Hong Kong began with a bang at Sha Tin on Sunday as he visited the winners’ circle on his first day back.
An armchair ride on Lucky Sweynesse in the Chief Executive’s Cup was just the start the 41-year-old Brazilian needed, although it did cost him a three-meeting suspension for impeding rivals during the race.
De Sousa has a huge following in Hong Kong, especially after an impressive 44-winner haul during a five-month spell back in the 2018/19 season, and the enthusiastic local racing public can’t get enough of him.
The talented and ultra-competitive pilot will be hungry for more success to get his career going again in the racing mad world of Hong Kong and can count on plenty of support from local trainers and owners.
De Sousa looks the right jockey to partner the unpredictable HERCULES in division one of the Chung Hom Kok Handicap (12.45pm) over six furlongs, after the sprinter finished in the frame a handful of times last season but failed to get his head in front.
This looks a tough contest with consistent Hero Star likely to cut out the running and be hard to get past, while there are also the fast-improving pair of Winning Icey and Spartan Missile in opposition.
Hercules has plenty in his favour though, with the inside draw in stall one a huge advantage, affording him a rails-hugging journey, and the present fast conditions all-important to him.
With the handicapper dropping him three pounds during the close-season and a recent encouraging trial suggesting he still retains his ability, all he needs now is a De Sousa power-packed finish to deliver the spoils.
Hercules (e/w) 12.45pm Happy Valley