York’s Nunthorpe Stakes looks next for Goodwood sprint heroine Suesa

WILLIAM Buick is poised to attempt the Goodwood and York big race sprint double for the second time in his career after the French filly Suesa stormed to success on the Sussex Downs.

Suesa ridden by jockey William Buick wins the King George Qatar Stakes (Group 2) race during day four of the Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse.

She’s the new favourite for the Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at the Ebor festival after denying Goodwood favourite Battaash a fifth successive victory in the King George Qatar Stakes.

The last filly to win this sprint was the Australian challenger Ortensia in 2012 who, weeks later, came from near-last to first in the dying strides to land the Nunthorpe under Buick.

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Then Buick, a Northern Racing College graduate, was a jockey beginning to fulfil his potential. Now, buoyed by his association with Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolpin operation, he’s a big race rider of internationally repute.

Suesa ridden by jockey William Buick after winning the King George Qatar Stakes (Group 2) race during day four of the Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse.

And he read the Goodwood race perefectly – seeking cover for the Francois Rohaut-trained Suesa before identifying a clear run to the line and allowing his mount to scorch clear of Dragon Symbol with Breeders’ Cup heroine Glass Slippers an eyecatching third on her seasonal reappearance for Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan.

“She’s an absolute sweetheart. I rode her in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but the ground was very bad and I learned a lot from her that day,” said Buick.

“She’s full of speed and was coming back to five (furlongs) today and she travelled through the race so smoothly, she was hard on the bridle the whole way and she has that good kick at the finish.

“Today was perfect conditions for her, Mr Rohaut was adamant she was in good shape and I spoke to Olivier Peslier about her as well who told me a thing or two about her. It was great to get the ride and she’s a very good filly.”

Suesa ridden by jockey William Buick after winning the King George Qatar Stakes (Group 2) race during day four of the Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse.

James Wigan, racing manager for Suesa’s owner, George Strawbridge, said: “We thought she was very good before Ascot, and then the rain came and the ground was bottomless.

“She just couldn’t act on it, luckily we took her home and she was OK. Her form in France before was very impressive, but we didn’t know what she’d be like over here.

“There aren’t really many deep races, sprint Group races, in France in the summer, so this was the obvious place to come.”

He went on: “As for a run at York, it depends what she is like when she gets back. She’ll have had quite a lot of travelling, coming here and then going back, then coming again having already done Ascot. The Abbaye will be the obvious target.

Ortensia ridden by William Buick (right) beats Spirit Quartz ridden by Frankie Dettori to win the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes during day three of the 2012 Ebor Festival at York Racecourse.

“There is a very good chance she will stay in training next year as the owner is very much a sportsman.”

Meanwhile the aforementioned Ryan believes Glass Slippers will head to Ireland before a return trip to the Breeders’ Cup in the USA.

“I am absolutely delighted. She came there travelling very strongly,” he said. “We would like to have got a racecourse gallop into her, but the ground has been so firm everywhere.

“We didn’t want to risk doing that. We knew coming here she was going to need the run. We can look forward to the rest of the year now.

“We will have a chat over the weekend, but we will generally take the same sort of route, the race in Ireland [Flying Five Stakes, Group 1] I would imagine will be on the agenda. It will be a nice chat to have on Sunday morning.”

The disappointment was Battaash – himself a dual Nunthorpe hero. Beaten in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot when collared by the pursuers, this looked an ideal opportunity to show he was as good as ever.

Yet, when he neared the front under Jim Crowley, the horse had little left to offer with trainer Charlie Hills suggesting that the soft ground was a factor.

“We were happy, he’s been doing everything he would have done in the last couple of years, I was just a bit concerned about the going,” he said. “We’ll see how he comes out of the race and speak to the Shadwell management and Sheikha Hissa and decide where we go.”

The view was shared by Crowley. “The ground was probably slow enough for him. He owes us nothing and is not getting any younger,” he conceded. “We’ll have a regroup and see what everybody wants to do. They don’t get quicker as they get older.”