Silvestre De Sousa returns to the big stage in Britain as Johan bids for more success in the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster.

Jack Channon’s seven-year-old won the season-opening showpiece back in 2022 – when he was trained by the handler’s father Mick – and will have what appears optimum conditions on Town Moor as he attempts a repeat.

De Sousa was in the saddle for that 2022 success and after a spell in Hong Kong blighted by a 10-month suspension, the three-times British champion jockey is set for his biggest mount since his UK comeback earlier this month.

Obvious Choice

“James Doyle rode him when he won (at Goodwood) last year but with him not being back, it was an obvious choice for me,” said Channon on De Sousa’s return to the saddle.

“Silvestre got on well with him the year before and it’s nice to have someone who knows the horse. He’s very straightforward, but it’s still nice to have someone who knows him.

“We know he handles cut in the ground and I think if we get a couple of dry days that will be ideal for him, just soft, good to soft will be absolutely ideal for him, but we know he handles it really soft as well so ground shouldn’t be a problem for him.”

Full field

A full field of 22 will head to post for the one-mile event that starts the Flat turf season and Johan is joined by defending champion Migration towards the top of the weights.

Last year’s runner-up Awaal is amongst the market leaders for Simon and Ed Crisford, while Chazzesmee is an interesting runner for Fozzy Stack having landed the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Monday and will be attempting the double under a 5lb penalty for that success.

Fellow Irish challenger Blues Emperor was a narrow second in the Irish Cambridgeshire on his penultimate start and represents Johnny Murtagh, with Karl Burke’s track-and-trip winner Liberty Lane and Charlie Johnston’s Balmoral winner The Gatekeeper other names of note.

Irish Lincolnshire third Raadobarg and John and Thady Gosden’s Mostabshir, were the key names not declared on Thursday morning for the £150,000 event.