Horse racing: Silvestre De Sousa's treble joy at Ripon

BRILLIANT Brazilian Silvestre de Sousa brought himself level with Paul Hanagan in the race to be crowned champion jockey with an excellent treble at Ripon yesterday.

With Ryan Moore looking likely to miss the remainder of the campaign following a fall at Glorious Goodwood, this year's title is set to be fought out by the two northern-based riders. While reigning champ Hanagan was suspended for the day, De Sousa made the most of his absence by rattling up a hat-trick of winners, meaning the pair head to Catterick today locked together on 87.

The highlight of the treble was victory on David O'Meara's Pepper Lane, who turned what looked to be a competitive Armstrong Memorial Handicap into a procession. The 15-2 chance was competing off a 7lb higher mark than when successful at Redcar on her latest start but it has certainly not halted her progress judged on this emphatic two-and-a-quarter-length victory over Gap Princess.

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"She was very impressive and I'm really happy with her. She's obviously improving all the time and I might bring her back here for the Great St Wilfrid," said O'Meara. "We'll just see how she is but it looked a good race and she's done it really well. Hopefully she can remain in good form."

De Sousa also struck on Lady Royale (9-2) in the At The Races Sky 415 Handicap for Geoff Oldroyd. Last month's Beverley winner was easy to back leading up to the race but belied the market drift to score by a length. The first of the jockey's winners came on O'Meara's 9-4 favourite Melodize in the Follow riponraces On Twitter Selling Handicap.

San Cassiano galloped his rivals into submission from the front in the Destination Harrogate Handicap. The Ruth Carr-trained 7-2 shot was soon bowling along at the head of affairs under Phillip Makin and fellow joint-favourite Jonny Lesters Hair did not appear to enjoy being taken on for the lead.

With Moore sidelined, Tom Queally has joined Kieren Fallon in making himself available for spare rides from Sir Michael Stoute's stable during the rider's absence. Moore was due to undergo surgery on his broken thumb and humerus after his Goodwood fall at the weekend.

Fallon's agent was reported to have declared the former champion's interest in picking up rides from Stoute, who selected Louis-Philippe Beuzelin for his one runner at Windsor last night and Richard Mullen for his next starter at Kempton tomorrow. Jimmy Fortune partnered Crystal Capella at Goodwood on Saturday.

Queally has ridden on rare occasions for the stable but is very much the man of the moment after his Group One victories on Frankel and Midday at Goodwood and will be committed to his boss Sir Henry Cecil when needed by him.

His agent Tony Elves said: "Like everyone else, we were devastated by the news of Ryan's injury. I have called Sir Michael to make him aware that Tom will be available to ride if required." Hanagan, meanwhile, will captain Great Britain's Shergar Cup team at Ascot on Saturday. The champion jockey teams up with Hayley Turner and Jim Crowley, while Olivier Peslier will lead a European team comprising himself, fellow Frenchman Christophe Lemaire and the Italian Mirco Demuro. The Irish team (Richard Hughes, Fran Berry and Colm O'Donoghue) and the Rest of the World (Doug Whyte, Yutaka Take and Hugh Bowman) had already been announced.