Buick has high hopes for Permian in Derby challenge

Permian ridden by jockey Franny Norton at York.Permian ridden by jockey Franny Norton at York.
Permian ridden by jockey Franny Norton at York.
WILLIAM Buick is to partner the Yorkshire challenger Permian in the Epsom Derby.

Narrowly denied by leading Derby candidate Cracksman in last month’s Epsom Trial, the Mark Johnston-trained colt has since impressed in a Listed event at Newmarket before landing the Dante Stakes at York when ridden by Franny Norton.

Not originally entered for the Derby, he will be supplemented today after pleasing Buick during a work out on Johnston’s gallops at Middleham on Saturday.

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No Yorkshire horse has won the Derby since Dante in 1945, but Permian is one of the few proven stayers in this year’s line up.

“I’m very pleased to be riding him (Permian) in the Derby,” said the jockey. “He’s in good shape and I was very happy with him.

“He’s always been a very neat horse physically, very well-balanced. He’s improved from two to three, and I feel he has improved again from the spring to now.

“Mentally, he is solid. He has a good mind. In any year, the Dante winner is never far away in the Derby, and I hope that proves true again this time.”

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Johnston’s son and assistant, Charlie, said Permian compelted a routine piece of exercise without mishap. “We were really pleased with him,” he said. “William came up to have a sit on him and get a feel of him and he was very happy. We’re just counting down the days now.”

Buick is free to ride at the Derby meeting after having the five-day suspension he received at York last week reduced to four days on appeal.

Karl Burke expects Quiet Reflection to raise her game at Royal Ascot next month after finishing down the field in Saturday’s Temple Stakes at Haydock.

The dual Group One-winning filly struggled to find her feet on fast ground over five furlongs in a race won by Clive Cox’s Priceless.

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Yorkshire’s reigning horse of the year was nearly withdrawn by the Leyburn trainer because of lingering misgivings about the ground.

However he says the six furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot remains the objective.

“In hindsight we probably should have run her in the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh with the way the ground went there on Saturday, but hindsight is a wonderful thing,” he said.

“The main thing is she’s got that run in now, which we wanted, she’s come out of it well and we’ll head for Royal Ascot. I was happy with how she ran and so was Martin (Harley). He said he felt she was just picking up in the last 100 yards after getting her second wind and another furlong will make a big difference.”