Buick storms to first Jockey's Championship
William Buick realised a long-held ambition at Ascot today as he was crowned Champion Jockey for the first time.
The 34-year-old has dominated the championship from the outset and begins the final day of the season on 157 winners, 67 clear of his closest challengers Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand.
Buick shared the Champion Apprentice title in 2008 with David Probert and has since enjoyed huge success both at home and overseas, latterly as retained rider for Godolphin since 2015.
His highlights this year include Royal Ascot success on Coroebus in the St James’s Palace Stakes as well as a plethora of big-race wins across Europe and North America.
Buick, who finished runner-up in 2015, 2020 and 2021, said: “18-year-old me would say what’s taken you so long!
“It is great and personally it’s something I’ve really wanted to achieve for quite a long time and obviously it’s taken me a few years, but it’s fantastic.
“My father was an eight-time Champion Jockey in Scandinavia so it’s great to be able to achieve it and I feel I’ve achieved it in the way that I would like to do it – to balance it with the big races, the big meetings, my main employer Godolphin, making sure that’s at the forefront of my focus.
“It’s very satisfying and, when every jockey starts out, that’s what you want to achieve – you want to win the Derby and you want to become Champion Jockey.”
He added: “You can never expect it to go as it has. You can only hope and work towards it, but you can never expect it, so it’s great and there’s a lot of people involved in it all.
“It’s hard work, it’s every day and every race and everything that comes with it, but I’ve loved every minute of it. When it’s going well and you’re riding winners, riding nice horses, you’re at the big meetings, when it goes like that it’s great, there is no better feeling. So, although it is hard work at times, you wouldn’t change it.”
Full standings can be found here: https://www.greatbritishracing.com/championships/
DE LA SAYETTE TAKES CHAMPION APPRENTICE HONOURS
Benoit de la Sayette was presented with the Champion Apprentice title at Ascot today, having seen off Harry Davies in the final weeks of the season.
The duo were neck and neck for much of the campaign but a treble from de la Sayette at Wolverhampton on October 1 swung the pendulum in his favour.
De La Sayette became the first apprentice jockey on John Gosden’s books for 29 years when taking out his licence in 2020 and rode his first winner in December of that year.
The pony racing graduate, who is the son of former jockey Geoffroy, was banned for six months in 2021 after testing positive for cocaine but has rebuilt his reputation this season.
Highlights have included Trawlerman’s victory in a heritage handicap at Glorious Goodwood, one of two winners for the rider at the midsummer highlight, and Vafortino’s success in the Victoria Cup.
De La Sayette said: “I am thrilled to win the Champion Apprentice title. It has felt like such an amazing season and I’ve really enjoyed the battle with Harry [Davies]. I wish him all the very best for the future and hope we’re riding against each other for many years to come.
“There have been plenty of highlights, starting with Vafortino winning the Victoria Cup at Ascot in May. I was also lucky enough to ride a winner at the July Festival [Adjuvant] and have victories at Glorious Goodwood. At the start of this month I rode my first-ever three-timer and that was another day I’ll never forget.
“None of those moments – or the other winners I’ve had – would’ve been possible without the fantastic support I’ve received from so many owners and trainers throughout the year. I’m especially grateful to John and Thady Gosden, as well as the whole Clarehaven team. I have learnt so much from the amazing team there.
“The input and advice from my agent Paul Clarke has been so valuable as well. He has worked tirelessly to get me opportunities. I’d also like to thank the PJA (Professional Jockeys’ Association) for all their ongoing support.
“Last but not least is my family. I want to say a big thank-you to all of them, especially my mum and dad for everything they do…this one’s for them.”
GODOLPHIN RETAINS CHAMPION OWNER TITLE
Godolphin was crowned Champion Owner for the 15th time at Ascot today, with a total prize money haul of more than £6 million.
The Dubai-based operation made a flying start to the championship on opening day at Newmarket, when Coroebus and Native Trail posted a one-two in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
Coroebus and Naval Crown delivered further G1 success at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes and Platinum Jubilee Stakes respectively, with Godolphin taking the leading owner title at the meeting with five winners.
The second half of the season has revolved around a stacked team of two-year-olds, headed by unbeaten Gimcrack Stakes victor Noble Style as well as recent Newmarket winners Silver Knott and Flying Honours.
Hugh Anderson, Managing Director of Godolphin (UK and Dubai), said: “Godolphin is immensely proud to receive the Champion Owner trophy at Ascot on such a prestigious day for our sport.
“It has been another season of great excitement with numerous wins at the highest level and I must pay tribute in particular to Charlie Appleby and the team at Moulton Paddocks who have led the charge. Saeed bin Suroor and John and Thady Gosden have also made a big contribution to a season that has showcased our homebreds and our stallions.
“Thank you to every single Godolphin employee, all of whom have played their part. Our greatest thanks must of course go to our Principal, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, for his endless loyalty, enthusiasm and passion for the thoroughbred.
“Finally, it is a particular thrill to collect this trophy alongside William Buick. He is at the very sharp end of Team Godolphin and all of us congratulate him on his outstanding horsemanship, determination, bravery and skill. He is a Champion Jockey for a Champion Owner and we could not be more delighted to end the UK season on such a high note.”