Dubai: Godolphin jockey William Buick made a strong statement after being sidelined for eight weeks due to injury when partnering Blue Point to a thrilling victory in Saturday’s J Bengough Stakes at Ascot.
Out of action since falling from the ill-fated Permian in the Secretariat Stakes in America in early August, Buick showed no signs of a lack of fitness due to a compression of his T12 vertebra, with a rock-solid performance aboard Charlie Appleby’s trainee.
Buick needed to dig deep to find Blue Point’s reserves as the Godolphin horse appeared to fading with the line approaching. But even as Projection, the mount of Kieran Shoemark, loomed as a threat, the Scandinavia rider got his mount to hold for a half-length victory.
The winner was cut to 101/ (from 20s) for the Champion sprint at Ascot on Champions Day where he will take on another Godolphin sprint star in Harry Angel.
Buick told ITV Racing: “He’s a better horse on fast ground. He has shown today he’s quite versatile making all the running on pretty slow ground. He’s a good horse and I believe he’s staying in training so we’ll see more of him next year.
“It’s fantastic and I have to thank a lot of people. This horse is not a bad ride to come back on, so my thanks to Charlie and all the team at home.
“It’s nice to be back and thankfully I didn’t make any mistakes. This year’s three-year-old sprinters are a fantastic bunch and Charlie and everyone at home have had no qualms about him.
“We have always thought he was right up there with them and he’s a horse that is going to be dining at the top table with all the others.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe in Australia superstar Winx notched her 21st consecutive career victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Winning trainer Chris Waller said: “She’s a brilliant horse — whatever you ask her to do she does. She makes us all look great.
“It’s just great that the public embrace her, not just here at Flemington but back home (in Sydney). She never disappoints.”
A delighted winning jockey Hugh Bowman told smh.com.au: “It was pretty special, no surprise, believe it or not.
“I am very pleased with how she has settled in down here. I know she did work well the other day, but she always does. What’s impressed me is how settled she is down here. I have said it all week.
“She was back to herself today, she was very unenthusiastic last start for some reason or other, maybe she just had a bit of a day where she didn’t want to do it, but she still did it in style.”