IT HAS been a frustrating season for William Buick – even though rising star Wannabe Yours was his 62nd winner of the current campaign.
Even though he is trainer John Gosden’s retained rider, he’s had to watch stable stars Kingman and Taghrooda win multiple Group One races from the sidelines.
The reason is the growing penchant for the top owners to employ their own jockeys; Buick’s close friend James Doyle is retained to ride Prince Khalid Abdullah’s horses like Sussex Stakes winner Kingman, while Paul Hanagan’s tie-up with Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum explains his association with Oaks and Eclipse heroine Taghrooda.
Yet Buick, who served his apprenticeship at Northern Racing College under the tutelage of David Griffiths who enjoyed big race success of his own yesterday with Take Cover, remains one of the best big race riders of his generation thanks to horses likely the recently-retired The Fugue.
His horsemanship was self-evident yesterday when Wannabe Yours, a winner at Doncaster in June, won the Group Two Molson Coors Celebration Mile, despite Buick dropping his whip as his mount surged past Hors De Combat in the closing stages to go on and triumph.
“It was a very classy performance, I even managed to drop my stick and we still won so I owe him a favour,” he said. “He’s a very nice horse, I had to take him back and come round which you see horses do here, but only very good ones win. He’s good, he’s learning quickly and this horse has a bright future.
“He’s quite a professional little guy but he did it the hard way and nothing was easy for him.
“He is a proper miler. To step to Group One company is a long way to go but he has all that is required and he just improves. I am sure that he will get there.”
Wannabe Yours is owned and bred by Normandie Stud who are longstanding supporters of Gosden and Buick.
“Mile races are going to be his game,” said the trainer who nominated the Celebration Mile at Goodwood on August 23 as a possible target.
“He is a much -mproved horse and I would have been very disappointed if he hadn’t have won today.
“We will talk about where to go but it will probably be the Sussex Stakes next year. William had to jumble his reins and couldn’t get through but he wasn’t going to get up the inner. He did the right thing coming round but, with a clear run, he might have won a bit easier.”
Earlier, Buick partnered 2012 Ladbrokes St Leger winner Encke to a creditable second behind Richard Hannon’s Pether’s Moon in the Group Three Coutts Glorious Stakes.
It was Encke’s first run since being embroiled in the Godolphin doping scandal that ended the career of trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
The Irish St Leger, a Classic open to older horses, is a possible target and the jockey noted: “It was a great comeback from Encke. He travelled well and showed that all the enthusiasm is still there.”