Justineo is tipped for big future as Buick enjoys Town Moor win

Trainer Roger Varian talks to jockey William BuickTrainer Roger Varian talks to jockey William Buick
Trainer Roger Varian talks to jockey William Buick
MAN of the moment William Buick demonstrated his tactical versatility on day one of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival with a winning front-running ride on Justineo, one of the rising stars of the sprint ranks.

He has the best Group One record of any British-based jockey since 2010 when he won his first St Leger on Arctic Cosmos, and has added to his tally in recent weeks thanks to brilliant hold-up ride on The Fugue for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine.

However the Northern Racing College graduate chose to make all on Justineo in the feature Crown Hotel Bawtry Scarbrough Stakes to confirm trainer Roger Varian’s rich vein of form after his stable was struck down by a virus last month.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Judge ‘N Jury tried to keep tabs on the pacesetter but the 4-1 joint-favourite was not stopping and blasted home by a length and a half from fellow market leader Masamah in this Listed race.

From a Yorkshire form perspective, this result is significant because Justineo was only third to Bryan Smart’s Moviesta in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Although Moviesta finished last in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York, Smart believes his sprinter – co-owned by football manager Harry Redknapp – suffered a knock at the start.

As for Justineo’s win, Buick was delighted. “He’s getting better – he ran great at Goodwood in the King George,” said the jockey who suffered a rare setback later when Gatewood was beaten by Godolphin’s Out Of Bounds in the Park Hill Stakes before he took the finale on Sir Pedro. “He’s going to be a sprinter to be reckoned with.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Justineo could now be aimed at the Prix de l’Abbaye, Europe’s sprint championship, after Newmarket-based Varian recorded his seventh success from 10 starts this month.

“They are now flying like you wouldn’t believe,” said the trainer. “When they got ill, it was a sharp reminder that when they’re not healthy it doesn’t matter how many you’ve got, or how good or well-bred they are.”

Eleven-year-old Borderlescott ran a creditable fifth on unsuitably rain-softened ground and Wetherby trainer Robin Bastiman was full of praise for his equine warrior. “It was the ground I think – he couldn’t get out of it early on but he was running on at the finish. He’s just ground dependent now,” he said. “We might take him to Dubai or somewhere – it is a thought. He has still got it and he looks well – he thrives on it – it is just a shame the rain came.”

The meeting began with an impressive victory by Braidley for Middleham trainer James Bethell in the Arena Group Nursery. The son of Dylan Thomas went to the front under Ted Durcan before the final furlong and surged clear.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Braidley had been readily beaten in a Newcastle nursery by the Mark Johnston-trained Stars Over The Sea who was then last of five in a Listed contest at Haydock on Saturday. As such, this win surprised Bethell. “I thought we might have run into a real good one at Newcastle, and so I was very disappointed with the way the Johnston horse ran at the weekend,” he said.

Willie Supple got Dana’s Present up in the last stride to grab the spoils in the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Stake.

Gay Kelleway, the first woman to ride a winner at Royal Ascot, looked home and hosed on Pelmanism before Dana’s Present challenged at the death.

Supple retired from race-riding last year after a career spanning 25 years. A highlight was his 2004 Golden Jubilee Stakles win on Fayr Jag for Great Habton’s Tim Easterby.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s great to come back to Yorkshire. I lived just up the road in Dishforth and the people here were always good,” said the 45-year-old after this fundraiser for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Northern Racing College.

Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania’s year to remember continued when Dartford Warbler prevailed at Uttoxeter for Bingley trainer Sue Smith. It capped another momentous week for the rider who has enjoying his first ride since becoming a father last Friday. “Hope my son was watching,” he tweeted under the hashtag #futurejockey.