Buick steers Wuheida to Filly And Mare win

First Breed­ers’ Cup suc­cess for jockey af­ter in­jury pain World Ap­proval takes Mile ahead of Lan­caster Bomber

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Sport - Marcus Army­tage RAC­ING COR­RE­SPON­DENT at Del Mar, Cal­i­for­nia

The Breed­ers’ Cup has not been kind to Wil­liam Buick in the past. In­deed, af­ter he broke a ver­te­bra in a fall at Ar­ling­ton in Au­gust, he might not have listed the United States as one of his favourite places ei­ther, but it fi­nally all came good for him last night when Wuheida won the Filly And Mare Turf. Most fa­mously, Buick, rid­ing The Fugue, was touched off on the line in the 2013 Turf by the late ar­riv­ing Ryan Moore on Ma­gi­cian and the emo­tion of that heart­break was very ev­i­dent at the time.

But the boot was on the other foot this time with Moore – whose vic­tory on Men­delssohn in Fri­day’s Ju­ve­nile Turf was one of the barn­storm­ing rides of the sea­son – fin­ish­ing three quar­ters of a length sec­ond on Rhodo­den­dron.

Char­lie Ap­pleby’s filly, who had run well in four Group Ones with­out win­ning one this sum­mer, was with­drawn from the Queen El­iz­a­beth Stakes in Keeneland in Oc­to­ber with a corn.

But she has thrived on her month long so­journ in Amer­ica where for­mer jockey Kirsty Mil­czarek had been rid­ing her out and she had been get­ting rave re­views in the morn­ings for the way she had been train­ing.

Hav­ing en­dured his own bap­tism of fire at Del Mar on Masar on Fri­day when the colt stum­bled and he lost a stir­rup, the Filly And Mare could not have gone smoother or more to plan for Buick. Wuheida broke well and was in the box seat in sec­ond through­out, en­abling Buick to give her a breather go­ing into the fi­nal bend.

An­gling out off the fi­nal bend, she quick­ened clear and had the race won be­fore the on-rush of fast fin­ish­ers held up in traf­fic tried in vain to peg her back. “The race drop­ping back in trip to nine fur­longs was never a con­cern for us,” said the jockey, who re­turned from two months on the side­lines just be­fore Cham­pi­ons Day.

“She won well and re­ally quick­ened in the straight. She’s very pro­fes­sional. She’s a push-but­ton ride. I was wait­ing for a split but I had plenty of horse and it was just a ques­tion of not go­ing too soon. This is my first Breed­ers’ Cup win­ner and it’s nice to get it done. It’s tough com­ing here to the Amer­i­cans’ back­yard and even though Euro­peans do well, it isn’t easy.”

Ap­pleby can now claim a bet­ter strike rate at the Breed­ers’ Cup than Aidan O’Brien. This was his sec­ond win­ner from three run­ners, with Out­strip win­ning for him in 2013. Though prac­tices on so­cial me­dia – al­ways a sign of op­ti­mism in the camp.

Tues­day’s match will rep­re­sent an im­por­tant stag­ing post in this jour­ney. It is pos­si­ble for play­ers at this level to stage an en­ter­tain­ing ex­hi­bi­tion with­out re­ally ex­ert­ing them­selves; Mur­ray him­self did this when he vis­ited Zurich in April to play Fed­erer in the Match for Africa 3, even though he was off the tour at that point be­cause of a dam­aged el­bow ten­don.

Yet the word is that he wants a more rig­or­ous test this week, to give him­self a barom­e­ter of how close he might be to tour­na­ment readi­ness.

“We’re go­ing to have a good time,” said Fed­erer last week, “and I think it’s won­der­ful what he [Mur­ray] is do­ing in his phil­an­thropic ef­forts.

“When peo­ple came away from Zurich, so many told me how much fun Andy ac­tu­ally was, what a great sport he was, so I was so happy he did that, and I can’t wait to re­turn the favour. Go­ing to new places is some­thing I al­ways re­ally en­joy, so I’m ex­cited to be go­ing to Scot­land for the first time.”

As the finest tennis player Bri­tain has pro­duced, Mur­ray stands at the cen­tre of a mini-in­dus­try, in­volv­ing spon­sors, agents, man­u­fac­tur­ers and so on. Yet his ap­point­ment as Godol­phin trainer at the time was some­thing of a sur­prise he has cer­tainly paid back Sheikh Mo­hammed’s faith with in­ter­est.

“Trav­el­ling is the key thing,” he re­it­er­ated. “If they come off the plane as well as they get on it is a huge bonus.”

Even flushed as he was by this suc­cess, Buick was un­able to add the Mile to Godol­phin’s first win­ner. In a des­per­ately bunched fin­ish be­hind the win­ner, World Ap­proval, the first favourite, York­shire neigh­bours Sue­dois (fourth), and Ribch­ester (fifth) were only beaten by a length and a half al­though Lan­caster Bomber ran well for O’Brien in sec­ond.

Ear­lier there had been no fairy­tale out­come to Sir Mark Prescott’s first ex­cur­sion into Breed­ers’ Cup ter­ri­tory when Mar­sha fin­ished a fast clos­ing sixth to the lo­cally trained 40-1 shot Stormy Lib­eral, al­though she man­aged to beat her old ad­ver­sary Lady Aure­lia the true state of his health re­mains opaque to ev­ery­one. Even Mur­ray him­self does not know how his body will re­spond to com­pe­ti­tion, let alone the stress of daily com­bat on hard sur­faces in the 40C heat of Aus­tralia.

“Tennis is a dif­fi­cult sport for com­ing back from in­juries,” says Michael Dav­i­son, a sports medicine spe­cial­ist and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Isoki­netic Lon­don. “You can’t man­age your min­utes, like you would in foot­ball by com­ing on for half an hour to­wards the end. No one knows how long a match will last or how far you might go in a tour­na­ment. So an ex­hi­bi­tion like this is the near­est thing Mur­ray will be able to get to play­ing com­pet­i­tive tennis in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment.”

At least Mur­ray still be­lieves he can do with­out an arthroscopy, which would prob­a­bly put him out for six months with­out of­fer­ing any guar­an­tee of res­o­lu­tion.

Still, Dav­i­son sug­gests that Mur­ray’s progress to date sounds promis­ing. “Mur­ray’s peo­ple talk about rest and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion but it’s not as if he isn’t train­ing hard,” he said. “Joints do wear out, but Andy is still rel­a­tively young. He won’t opt for surgery un­less it re­ally is the fi­nal op­tion.” again. Prescott, who has been train­ing for 48 years and has made no se­cret of the fact that he will hand over to as­sis­tant Wil­liam But­ler in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture, ad­mit­ted he could get a taste for it. “But you need to bring a good one,” he said af­ter his Nun­thorpe and L’Ab­baye win­ner, the best horse he has had for a while, had been flat to the boards from start to fin­ish.

“She’s bet­ter go­ing straight and some of the oth­ers might not have been quite so good go­ing straight but I have no com­plaints,” he said.

“I thought she ran a great race clos­ing all the time. I think she’s been the most con­sis­tent sprinter in the north­ern hemi­sphere this year and a credit to Elite that they bred her.”

Stormy Lib­eral was not the long­est priced win­ner of the meet­ing. That hon­our went to Bar of Gold who got up on the line in the Filly And Mare Sprint to win at 66-1.

Andy Mur­ray crashed out of the quar­ter-fi­nals at Wimbledon in July af­ter suf­fer­ing prob­lems with his hip in his loss to Sam Quer­rey. He will have been off com­pet­i­tive tennis for nearly four months when he takes on Fed­erer

Joy: Wil­liam Buick cel­e­brates af­ter rid­ing Wuheida to vic­tory in Filly And Mare Turf

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