Royal Ascot Jockeys In Focus – William Buick

With Royal Ascot on the horizon, Racing Tips are previewing some of the biggest names in the training and riding ranks ahead of the top races next week. Today’s focus is on William Buick, a man on a mission to land his first Flat Jockeys’ Championship.

Master Of The Seas (Queen Anne Stakes)

With Baaeed a beastly opponent at the top of the betting, MASTER OF THE SEAS has a big challenge trying to overcome him.

However, he is vying for second-favouritism in most markets and may be the closest thing to a rival that Baaeed has in this race. Runner-up in last season’s 2000 Guineas, Master Of The Seas was unquestionably below his best when only seventh to the odds-on market leader in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.

His return hinted that more may be to come as a four-year-old. He won the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket with a fair bit in hand under Buick and the runner-up, Magellan, scored at the same level at Epsom on Derby day. 

The step back up to a Group 1 will be a rigorous examination of his improvement and condition, but there looked more to come from him based on his reappearance. Perhaps Baaeed will finally meet with a challenge.

Man Of Promise (King’s Stand Stakes)

The only horses ahead of MAN OF PROMISE in the market for the King’s Stand Stakes are trained abroad. Yet, with the sprinting division looking far from the strongest in this country, that may not be a surprise.

The irony with Charlie Appleby’s charge heading the “home” challenge is that Man Of Promise has not raced in Britain since August 2020 or having been gelded. Putting it another way: his last six runs have all been at Meydan over 6f.

He is, in racing terms, as much a patriot of the United Arab Emirates as he is this nation. However, though he may face significant overseas opposition in this race, Godolphin and Appleby may spy an opportunity for Group 1 successes once Royal Ascot is out the way.

That said, that dismisses this horse’s potential chances in this 5f contest. He may never have run over this trip, but is bred purely for sprinting. His electric galloping was seen to great effect at Meydan in March and though his 4¾ length beating of A Case Of You was overturned by that rival next time out, the step back to the minimum trip may be more in his favour.

With Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal having underperformed on both starts over here and the Australian crusader Nature Strip now a seven-year-old, the race could open up for Man Of Promise.

Coroebus (St James’s Palace Stakes)

The 2000 Guineas hero will make his return at Royal Ascot. Alongside that, a fascinating side plot could open up for Buick.

COREOBUS beat stablemate Native Trail at Newmarket, but many feel he was on the better side of the draw than last year’s champion juvenile. Moreover, that rival has since won the Irish 2000 Guineas, making them level at 1-1 in terms of Classics.

As such, should both be declared, which is not out of the question, Buick would have a decision to make. He opted for Native Trail before, so would he dare change his mind?

This debate may well be for nought if Native Trail is sent elsewhere, and Coroebus is easily the more certain runner. With three wins from his four starts and a comfortable gap back to third and beyond in the 2000 Guineas, he looks his generation’s star miler. 

Hurricane Lane (Hardwicke)

Possibly the biggest name on this list, HURRICANE LANE’s reappearance is eagerly awaited after a superb three-year-old season.

He has won six of his eight career starts, three of which have been Group 1s. His first start at the top level may have only resulted in a third-placed finish in the Derby, but he then went on a superb run through until the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

He claimed the Irish Derby with a dramatic late burst before pummelling his opponents in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp. He confirmed his rapid rise to stardom by cruising clear in the St Leger for a second Classic win.

The heavy ground on Arc day proved perfect for German outsider Torquator Tasso, but Hurricane Lane was still beaten by less than a length in third and remains a top prospect to continue in the middle distance division. The Hardwicke Stakes may only be a Group 2, but could prove a perfect stepping stone for the rest of the season.

Creative Force (Platinum Jubilee)

Another sprint race, this time over 6f, is the Platinum Jubilee Stakes. Buick’s hopes may hang on the chestnut CREATIVE FORCE.

Once more, there could prove to be substantial international interest in this race, as well as fitting royal representation from the Queen’s King’s Lynn. However, Creative Force has established himself towards the top of British sprinters by the end of last season and could ensure Godolphin lead the home battalions once again.

He had run well in a pair of good-to-firm Group 1s over 6f last term before a little more juice in the ground arrived at Ascot in time for Champions Day. That was all that was required for Creative Force to wrap up a first top level success, winning by a length from Glen Shiel.

He was disappointing when tried in Dubai most recently, but he was revealed to be lame afterwards. Previously, he had run well after a break to begin last season on these shores and any cut in the surface will bring him right into the equation.