Sunday 25 February 2018

Buick's flying form lands rare double

JA McGrath

THE rise and rise of William Buick continued on both sides of the Atlantic at the weekend when the young jockey landed the Arlington Million and the Prix Morny to add further lustre to his big-race reputation.

Buick (22) first travelled to Chicago, where he came from an unpromising position approaching the home stretch to drive the John Gosden-trained Debussy home a clear-cut winner of Saturday's Arlington Million by half a length from last year's winner Gio Ponti, with two lengths back to the winner's stablemate Tazeez.

Buoyed by his first Grade One victory in America, Buick then dashed to O'Hare Airport to board a plane for the overnight trip to Europe, where he rode the well-regarded Dream Ahead, trained by David Simcock, to take the Prix Morny at Deauville. This remarkable double had been completed in less than 16 hours, including travel time.

With the help of his father, former jockey Walter, Buick has managed to dodge being tagged the new Frankie Dettori, though he can perform a flying dismount as good as the Italian if asked.

Astute management has enabled him to establish his own reputation, which was enhanced when Gosden appointed him stable jockey this season. Buick's win on the Gosden-trained Dar Re Mi in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March set up the season nicely and he has continued to impress.

Debussy had been locked in on the rail until the top of the home straight, but Buick found the gaps and swooped, giving Gio Ponto little chance to rally. Gosden, who knows his way around American tracks as well as any British or Irish trainer, now wants Debussy to go for the Breeders' Cup Turf, which looks a feasible long-term objective.

Dream Ahead, which had bypassed York's Acomb Stakes last Tuesday for the softer ground at Deauville, looked a smart performer as he dashed away from Tin Horse and Potenuovo in the Prix Morny, getting a quote of 16/1 from Ladbrokes for next year's 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.


The colt, unbeaten in two outings, was a first Group One winner for Simcock.

Also on the card, Stacelita pulled out all the stops to repel Godolphin's Antara in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet. The former, a three-time Group One winner in 2009, was sent off the even-money favourite and hit the front at the top of the straight under Christophe Soumillon.

Frankie Dettori threw everything at Antara to try and bridge the gap but Stacelita found just enough to take further top-level honours.

Luca Cumani and jockey Kieren Fallon suffered a narrow reverse in the Darley Prix Kergorlay, as Manighar just failed to catch Americain.

Meanwhile, Jessica Harrington has an exciting two-year-old of her own in Pathfork but won't rush into a decision regarding future targets for Saturday's Curragh winner.

The Distorted Humor colt made quite an impression as he supplemented his maiden win with a comfortable length-and-a-half victory in the Group Two Futurity Stakes.

Stan James make Pathfork as low as 8/1 for next year's 2,000 Guineas and while the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on October 16 is an option, Harrington will take her time before outlining a definite target.

"He's fine this morning, he's come out of it well and we were absolutely thrilled with the win," she said yesterday. "We will just let the dust settle now before we make any decisions about where we should go.

"He's entered in the Dewhurst and the Beresford Stakes so they are options and we could also supplement him for the National Stakes."

Pathfork is owned by Kentucky-based Tommy and Bonnie Hamilton and the Moone, Co Kildare trainer added: "The owners are American so they might like to go to the Breeders' Cup, but we will see." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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