Silvestre de Sousa: received an 18-day ban for his use of the whip
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
CHAMPION jockey Silvestre de Sousa believes the whip rules in Britain need to be looked at and are punishing jockeys too severely after he received an 18-day ban which could throw his quest for back-to-back titles off course.
De Sousa picked up a 12-day ban, with a further six days deferred, for breaking whip rules on five occasions in the past six months and feels the ban is “simply too harsh”.
The Brazilian rider misses the Coral-Eclipse meeting and Newmarket’s Moet Chandon July festival next month with the ban ruling him out from July 1-13 inclusive.
System needs reviewing
De Sousa said: “First of all, rules are rules and if you break them you get banned, it’s simple and I accept that.
“However, my concern is I think the rules need to be looked at as I don’t think they are currently fair. I’ve be banned for breaking the rules once and now I’m being banned a second time for the same crime.
“I’m being heavily penalised for a string of minor offences – three of my most recent bans were of the most minor on the scale, while another two weren’t even for excessive use of the whip. The severity of the punishment in my opinion is simply too harsh.”
Drifted in the market
Coral on Thursday eased De Sousa to 4-7 (from 4-11) to retain his Flat jockeys’ championship, which ends on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on October 15.
Writing on his Betway blog, De Sousa added: “I accept my punishment but just think the whole process needs looking at as it just isn’t fair.”
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