Gap Princess Gives de Sousa a Double at Ripon

Trainer Geoff Harker had nothing but compliments for Silvestre de Sousa the young Brazilian jockey, after his inspiring ride atop Gap Princess in the feature event, the Armstrong Memorial Handicap at Ripon.

Ripon Racecourse

Ripon Racecourse

De Sousa has been in excellent form, with this event giving him his 49th victory of the season and the 13th victory in the last two weeks.

Under the guidance of de Sousa the mare put on the speed down the outside to challenge front runner Sioux Rising to get over the line three-quarters of a length in front.

"It was the owner who kept pushing for her to run as I thought we were maybe aiming a bit high with her, but things have dropped right and Silvestre has given her a cracking ride," said Harker.

"She's done it really well and while she won a couple early in the year, this was her biggest test and she's come through it with flying colours,"

"She's a really tough filly and it was a good race with a nice bit of prize-money.

"She pinged the gate at Hamilton the other day and ended up in front which doesn't suit her.

"Silvestre is riding unbelievably well at the moment and I just hope he stays up here and doesn't go down south."

Earlier, De Sousa gave his all aboard City Of The Kings to win the Destination Harrogate Handicap by a length and a half from Veiled Applause.

"He's had a lot of trouble with splints earlier in the season," said Harker.

"He came in really fresh and well and we thought we were going to have a really good year, but he's just had a few niggly problems.

"He never had anything so wrong with him that he couldn't run. He just kept coming right and then you would run him and it would flare up again.

"They seem to have settled down now though, so hopefully it will be onwards and upwards from here.

"We love him to bits at the yard and hopefully there is plenty to look forward to."

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