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Sammy Jo Bell's apprentice jockeys' title bid gathers pace

By Frank Brownlow

Sammy Jo Bell stepped up her bid for the apprentice jockeys' title, while Silvestre de Sousa celebrated his 100th win in the senior championship.

Bell triumphed aboard Imshivalla in the Whiteley Clinic Stakes at Goodwood, De Sousa on Donna Graciosa in the Beverley Middle Distance Series Final Round Handicap.

The 24-year-old Ulster rider now has 22 victories - just eight behind leader Jack Garritty - and almost £220,000 in prize money.

De Sousa leads his closest challenger William Buick by 28 wins as he looks to be crowned champion for the first time.

Speaking after the Mark Johnston-trained filly had prevailed by a length from Deep Blue Diamond, the 34-year-old Brazilian said: "My target at the beginning of every single year is to ride a hundred winners, so it is great to reach this milestone.

"Ultimately, I just want to ride as many winners as I can and I hope that my luck continues."

In a revamp this season, the championship began at the Newmarket Guineas Festival and will end on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on October 17.

Hint Of A Tint claimed her second major handicap of the summer with a comprehensive victory in the Tote Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh.

David Wachman's mare was among the leading contenders for the 100,000 euro contest after getting up late in the day in the Topaz Mile at the Galway Festival.

Fran Berry rode the 10-1 shot with plenty of confidence and the partnership cruised towards the front a furlong out.

Hint Of A Tint picked up well when asked for maximum effort and was well on top as she passed the post a length and three-quarters to the good over 9-2 favourite Portage.

Bold Thady Quill and Champagne Or Water finished third and fourth respectively.

Frank Berry, representing owner Sue-Ann Foley, the daughter of JP McManus, said: "That was lovely. She did it nicely and travelled away well.

"Obviously she loves a little bit of ease in ground and she won well in Galway as well. You couldn't ask for better. Those are two nice races to win with her.

"She'll probably stay in training next year."

Dual champion jockey Paul Hanagan hailed the newly-laid track at Yarmouth after racing took place for the first time in almost a year.

"There's a massive difference from last year. It's so level and so equal now. It rode very nice," said Hanagan after riding Mujassam and Alqubbah to victory.

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