Buick relieved to finally land a win at Breeders’ Cup

William Buick said he was feeling a mixture of ‘joy and relief’ after he landed his first Breeders’ Cup victory on Charlie Appleby-trained Wuheida in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf.

Buick was unable to add to the win when Ribchester just missed the frame behind Mark Casse’s favourite World Approval who won the $3m Mile.

But the jockey fulfilled his desire, expressed earlier in the week, to make his mark at this world championship of racing.

William Buick celebrated long-awaited Breeders’ Cup winner with Wuheida on Saturday

The last time Buick had come to America, he had ended up with a fracture in his back when Permian fell fatally in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, Chicago. It put him out of action for eight weeks.

The 29-year-old rider has also had to endure some pain at this meeting in the past.

He was twice defeated on John Gosden-trained The Fugue and was distraught on the second occasion when Ryan Moore-ridden Magician nailed him on the line in the 2013 Turf.

His sense of frustration can only have increased when he hit trouble and lost a stirrup when Appleby’s Masar was sixth to Aidan O’Brien-trained Mendelssohn in Friday’s Juvenile Turf.

But on his 12th Breeders’ Cup ride, Buick executed his role perfectly getting Wuheida on the heels of the leader and kicking on at the top of the home straight. Moore was again on his tail but this time his mount, Rhododendron, who started from a disadvantageous wide stall 14, was repelled with Wuheida holding on by three-quarters of a length.

The three-year-old struck in the Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar for Charlie Appleby

The three-year-old struck in the Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar for Charlie Appleby

As anticipated, Sir Michael Stoute’s defending champion Queen’s Trust found the 1m 1f trip too short as she finished fifth.

Buick said: ‘She has really quickened in the straight. I could not ask for more. It is my first Breeders’ Cup winner. I have been here a few times now. It’s just nice to get it done.

‘It is so important. It means so much. I have come here with big rides before and I’m lucky enough to keep coming back with good rides.’

For Appleby, the win was justification of the confidence he had in the horses he brought to California. The trainer said he did not waste ammunition and, having won the 2013 Juvenile Turf with Outstrip, his only previous runner at the fixture before this year, he now has two wins from three runners.

Wuheida herself was putting the record straight. Having won the Prix Marcel Boussac in 2016, she was a Classic hope for this season until suffering a muscle injury.

She had been beaten in four subsequent starts and then had to be pulled out of a big race in Keeneland last month after developing a corn 48 hours before the race.

Appleby, who hopes the imposing daughter of Dubawi will stay in training next year, said: ‘She just looks fantastic. She’s getting what I call a racing head on her now. We missed the best part of a week [in Keeneland] but we kept her on the move.’

There was no fairytale ending to the career of Marsha as she finished sixth to 40-1 shock winner Stormy Liberal in the $1m Turf Sprint

The mare, who runs in the black and white colours of the 10,000 strong Elite racing Club, started well enough under Luke Morris but was flat out around the home turn and, although staying on down the outside and getting to within two lengths of the Joel Rosario-ridden winner, Marsha never looked like winning.

The challenge of racing on the US dirt was again underlined when O’Brien’s US Navy Flag beat only two home in the Juvenile behind impressive winner Good Magic.


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