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Silvestre De Sousa jocked off Classic winner by James Doyle ahead of Royal Ascot


SILVESTRE DE SOUSA has been jocked off Classic winner Elmalka ahead of a big Group 1 target at Royal Ascot.

James Doyle, who is trainer Roger Varian’s No1, has been given the nod for the Coronation Stakes – despite De Sousa’s heroics in the saddle in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Silvestre De Sousa rode Elmalka (yellow silks) to victory in the 1,000 Guineas


Silvestre De Sousa rode Elmalka (yellow silks) to victory in the 1,000 GuineasCredit: PA
James Doyle will ride Elmalka in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot


James Doyle will ride Elmalka in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot

The Brazilian gave the filly an inspired ride to win the big’un at 28-1, providing him with a first ever Classic success, but he will have to step aside at the Royal meeting, which starts on June 18.

The ‘Doyler’ was supposed to be aboard Elmalka in the Guineas but had to jet across the Channel to ride in France for his bosses at Wathnan Racing instead.

De Sousa, who is still in the process of rebuilding his career after a 10-month betting breach ban, grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

But the three-time champion jockey’s memorable victory was not enough to secure him the ride long-term


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Varian said: “James was meant to ride her originally but had to go to France, so he will be back on her.

“I’ve been really pleased with her since the Guineas. The Coronation is often one of the best races of the week and it is shaping up to be a very good race again.

“Ascot is a greater test of speed than Newmarket but she is has plenty of pace and is versatile as regards how she is ridden, she doesn’t have to be held up.

“I hope she is going to run a big race, though we have to remember she has only had three runs in her life, so she will still improve with time and racing.”

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Elmalka, who is 4-1 for the Coronation Stakes with Coral, adds to a top book of rides for Doyle, who has a host of Wathnan Racing-owned stars to ride and will be well-fancied to finish as top jock at Ascot.

But De Sousa will get his Group 1 shot on the same yard’s Charyn, who lines up in the Queen Anne Stakes.

The horse has taken a big step forward this season and is one of the top milers in this country.

And he was the only horse who was able to make up any sort of ground on runaway winner Audience when second in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last time.

Varian said: “Charyn has had a tremendous season so far. I was thrilled with his second in the Lockinge and he is on course for Ascot.

“You have to tip your hat to the winner, it was an amazing performance on the day, but out horse has proven he is a legitimate contender and he was probably a little bit unlucky not to win on the day.”

There will be a change to the familiar schedule at Royal Ascot a week on Tuesday, with track chiefs having tinkered with several race times to avoid clashes with Euro 2024.


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