Buick doing it for the ladies

"She did it like this, boss"

William Buick’s week took a turn for the better yesterday. After a dreadful opening day with the loss of The Nile and four unplaced rides Buick brought Ladies Day in early by riding the filly Joviality to win the Windsor Forest Stakes for owner Princess Haya of Jordan.

There was quite a battle in the final furlong, as Chachamaidee, who had missed the break by several lengths, pressed Joviality, but Buick wrote on his Attheraces blog that he felt confident of holding on. He said, “Ascot was always going to be her track and I knew that the climb to the line would bring out the best in her. I was able to sit handy and wasn’t worried that I’d be taking it up too soon two out, as I knew she’d keep finding for me. When Chachamaidee came at her in the last 150 yards she just wouldn’t lie down.”

Princess Haya has a deep knowledge of horses as Joviality’s trainer John Gosden explained. “Princess Haya is a consummate rider who rode in the Olympics, and I suggested she should lead the filly in. Her husband Sheikh Mohammed has just won a 160km race in Italy over the mountains, when none of us could ride for 16km. They both enjoy their riding so it’s only natural they should be interested in their horses.”

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Of Joviality herself, the owner suggested that the horse could not be more appropriately named. Princess Haya said, “She is such a lovely filly in the stable – very sweet and friendly with everyone.”

Buick thinks his best chance of success today comes with another Gosden trained filly, The Fugue, in the Ribblesdale Stakes. This race is almost a re-run of the Oaks, with the second, third, fourth, seventh, ninth and eleventh from that race all turning out again. It is unusual to have so many fillies contesting both races, but this year they have been helped by an extra week between the two races.

Certainly Buick’s mount, The Fugue, didn’t have the run of the race at Epsom, where she took a right barging early on. It’s a race in which The Fugue’s music and dance theatre mother, Twyla Tharp, was beaten by just a short head by Thakafaat in 2005, the year in which Royal Ascot became Royal York. A win for the Fugue today will help make up for that defeat for John Gosden, as he also trained Twyla Tharp.

If The Fugue does win today, Buick and Gosden will be out tomorrow to make it a hat-trick of fillies in first place. And they will have two chances of doing it, with Newfangled in the opening Albany Stakes, and Fallen For You in the Coronation Stakes.

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