Chance of hat-trick for Buick in Oaks

William Buick rides Wild Illusion in the Oaks today.William Buick rides Wild Illusion in the Oaks today.
William Buick rides Wild Illusion in the Oaks today.
WILLIAM BUICK has endured a long wait for a third Classic since winning back-to-back renewals of Doncaster's St Leger with Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

However, he will be disappointed if the favourite Wild Illusion, trained by Charlie Appleby and owned by Godolphin’s Sheikh Mohammed, does not add to his big race tally in today’s Investec Oaks at Epsom.

Soft ground conditions and the extra distance of a mile and a half are just two of the factors that should count to Buick’s advantage as he blossoms as Godolphin’s main rider.

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She won the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac on soft going at Chantilly and ran an excellent Oaks trial when a staying-on fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on her seasonal debut.

Though Buick, a Northern Racing College graduate, was crestfallen by The Fugue’s reverse in the 2012 Oaks when she had a luckless run, he is buoyed by a landmark Breeders’ Cup success in America last year on the Appleby-trained Wuheida.

“She ran a lovely race on her comeback in the 1000 Guineas and is a filly who will appreciate stepping up in trip,” said the jockey who enjoyed so much success last year on Richard Fahey’s Ribchester.

“Her form is very solid and she’s never done anything wrong.

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“She’s very stoutly bred on the dam’s side and, being by Dubawi, has a great pedigree. You would like to think the distance not being an inconvenience for her and she seems straightforward.”

Appleby concurred, saying: “She’s going in the race off the back of a good trial in the Guineas. We always felt and hoped that stepping up in trip would be her forte. She has proven Group One form on soft ground. She ticks a lot of the boxes. At the end of the day it is the Oaks so you have to respect every runner, and handle the track, but I couldn’t be happier.”

The stamina test should also suit Give And Take who proved her versatility when winning York’s Musidora Stakes for jockey James Doyle and Skipton-born trainer William Haggas.

“I think she’s come forward for her win at York. She looks great and is in really good shape,” said Haggas. “Whether she is quite good enough we will see, but soft ground won’t hinder her at all.”

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Cracksman’s owner Anthony Oppenheimer admits he is feeling the nerves ahead of the Coronation Cup.

Frankie Dettori’s mount, the winner of last year’s Champion Stakes at Ascot, won the Prix Ganay at Paris-Longchamp on his seasonal reappearance and is favourite for the season-ending Prix de lArc de Triomphe.

“The rain hasn’t worried us as long as there’s not much more. You don’t want Group One horses running on heavy ground, really,” said Oppenheimer.

“I’m very apprehensive before any race. I’ll never forget Golden Horn at York (2015 Juddmonte International) when he was too keen behind his pacemaker and got beaten. That proved anything can happen. Golden Horn also jumped a shadow in the Irish Champion Stakes and was lucky to keep that race, so I never take anything for granted. With Cracksman having proved he’s as good as ever in France, we’re now having to fight off all the others.”