William Buick

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William Buick (born 22 July 1988) is a Norwegian-born flat jockey who holds both British and Danish citizenship. He shared the champion apprentice jockey title in 2008 with David Probert and won the Lester Award for Apprentice Jockey of the Year in 2007 and 2008. His first group race victory was in the St. Simon Stakes. His first group one race victory was in the E. P. Taylor Stakes aboard Lahaleeb. In 2010 he was hired by John Gosden as his stable jockey and won his second group one in the Dubai Sheema Classic. He is currently hired by Godolphin Racing.

Childhood and early career[edit]

Buick was born in Norway in 1988, where his Scottish-born father, Walter, was Scandinavian champion jockey on eight occasions and his mother, Maria, a dressage rider and showjumper. He has two younger brothers called Martin and Andrew.

Buick was riding horses from a young age and used to ride out in the mornings before going to school. He later recalled "I didn’t go much (to school). I rode out most mornings and was always late. My mum wasn’t too keen but my dad said that if it was what I wanted, crack on." [1]

Fluent in Norwegian, Danish, English and German, Buick was a regular visitor to the UK, where he spent summer holidays riding out for trainers Reg Hollinshead, Marcus Tregoning and Andrew Balding. After completing his education abroad, he joined Balding as an apprentice jockey.[2]

Buick was very small for his age but had his first ride on 10 August 2006 at the age of 18, on Tiny Tim at Brighton. Tiny Tim’s trainer Andrew Balding later said "We had to be a little careful and hold him back a little, because he was so small. But he had a knack of settling horses and by the time he had his first ride we could see he was very talented."[3]

Before Buick’s first ride on Tiny Tim, the former Classic-winning trainer Ian Balding had struck a bet with the Tote at 500-1 on Buick becoming champion jockey before the year 2020.[4]

Buick’s first win came on the Paul D’Arcy trained Bank On Benny at Salisbury on 27 September 2006 and by the end of the year he had ridden ten winners, leading Ian Balding to say "without question he is the best apprentice we have ever had." [4]

Champion apprentice[edit]

Having finished 3rd in the apprentice championship in 2007 in his first full season riding [5] Buick was part of a fantastic duel for the 2008 apprentice title, fought between him and David Probert, who like Buick was attached to the Andrew Balding stable and had his first ride on the stable’s schoolmaster Tiny Tim.[6]

While Buick had the advantage of a full season’s experience (which had included a first victory at Royal Ascot on Dark Missile in the Wokingham Stakes), Probert had the advantage of a 5 lbs claim and the race for the title went all the way to the final day of the season, with both riders finishing on 50 winners.[7]

For the second year running, Buick was named Apprentice Jockey of the Year at the British horseracing awards ceremony, the Lesters, making him the only rider to receive the accolade on two occasions.[8]

Stable jockey to John Gosden[edit]

In January 2010, Buick was offered the role of stable jockey to the powerful yard of Newmarket-based trainer John Gosden. Having proven himself on the big stage when winning his first Group 1 race on Mick Channon’s Lahaleeb in the EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, Canada in October 2009, Buick was snapped up by Gosden after the trainer severed ties with his previous stable jockey Jimmy Fortune.[9]

Group 1 success[edit]

The partnership got off to a perfect start at the Dubai Carnival in March 2010, with Buick winning the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Gosden’s Dar Re Mi on what was his first top-level ride (and just fourth ride in total) for the trainer. After the race, Gosden commented on the appointment of Buick. "Yes, it is good to be vindicated straightaway. I like his style, I like his intelligence, I like his balance." [10]

Buick and Gosden were to enjoy further Group 1 success together in 2010, with victory in the Arlington Million (Debussy) in August followed by St Leger victory for Arctic Cosmos at Doncaster, giving Buick a maiden Classic success and Gosden a third St Leger victory (Shantou in 1996 and Lucarno in 2007). After the win, Buick said "To be standing here is very special. To win a Classic is what every jockey wants to do and it has been my dream since I came into racing".[11]

Buick also forged a prolific partnership with the top-class, David Simcock-trained two-year-old Dream Ahead, winning the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville (giving Buick a first Group 1 success in France) and the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. However, the year ended badly for Buick, as he was forced to spend New Year’s eve in hospital having suffered two falls the day before at Meydan racecourse in Dubai. Having initially thought to have been lucky to escape injury as no bones were broken, he was found to have bleeding on the brain and, after a week’s stay in hospital, was forced to sit on the sidelines for six weeks before returning to race-riding.[12]

2011[edit]

After a successful start to his career as stable jockey to John Gosden in 2010, Buick was tipped by many to challenge for the flat jockeys championship in 2011. However, with the Horseman’s Group having set prize-money tariffs specifying the minimum amount of prize-money racecourses should offer for each type of race, Gosden was one of a number of trainers to agree to a boycott of ‘under-tariff’ races, a stance that led Buick to comment "It’s going to affect me, but I totally agree with it. Something has to be done about it and that’s the only way it’s going to be done, by people not running their horses." [13] Nevertheless, Buick was able to ride a century of winners in Britain in a calendar year for the first time and, for the second year running, was successful in five Group 1 contests worldwide.[14] The first of these was a success on Nathaniel in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July. Nathaniel had already given Buick the second Royal Ascot victory of his career in the King Group 2 Edward VII Stakes (quickly followed by Beachfire later that day in the Wolferton handicap) earlier in the season. Dream Ahead, on whom Buick had won two Group 1 races in 2011, won both the Sprint Cup at Haydock over 6f and then the Prix de la Foret over 7f at Longchamp, in which he beat the star French mare Goldikova, providing Buick with the first Group 1 double of his career, having won the Prix Marcel Boussac earlier that day on Elusive Kate for John Gosden. Buick’s also won a second successive St Leger with victory on Masked Marvel on what was just his second ride in the race.[15]

2012[edit]

In 2012, Buick won nine Group 1 races across the globe. One of which came in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot aboard Fallen For You, where he completed a treble after he won the Albany Stakes aboard Newfangled and the Wolfreton Handicap with Gatewood on day four of the royal meeting. Buick said: "It's fantastic - these are the days that jockeys dream of. Just to have a horse that runs well at Royal Ascot is very good. To have a winner is fantastic and to have three winners in one day is really amazing." He went away from Royal Ascot with five winners in total. Nathaniel, on whom Buick had won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2011, was bidding to become the third horse in history to win the race back to back after a successful seasonal debut in the Eclipse Stakes two weeks prior. However, after a close photo finish between the 2011 winner Nathaniel and the 2011 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream, the latter prevailed on the bob of a head. The day after the King George, Buick steered the sister of Nathaniel, Great Heavens, to Group 1 success in Ireland in the Irish Oaks on his 24th birthday, making that Buick's fifth Group 1 victory of the year. His other Group 1 victory in Ireland, came on Izzi Top in the Pretty Polly Stakes, on whom he also won the Prix Jean Romanet in France later that year. Buick had three Group 1 victories in France in 2012, the other two being Elusive Kate in the Prix Rothschild and globetrotting Gordon Lord Byron in the Prix de la Forêt on Arc day. Buick's two other Group 1 victories came in the Gran Premio di Milano aboard Earl of Tinsdal in Italy and in the Nunthorpe Stakes during the Ebor Festival at York aboard the Australian mare Ortensia, on whom he also won the King George Stakes at Goodwood that year. Buick brought Ortensia from what looked like an impossible position two furlongs out, to win by a neck from Spirit Quartz. Buick finished a successful year with well over 100 winners and in near contention at the top of the flat jockeys championship. He later signed a two-month contract to ride in Japan in January and February 2013.

2015[edit]

On March 28, 2015 Buick rode Prince Bishop a 12/1 shot to victory in the Dubai World Cup richest ($10 million) race in history.

Major wins[edit]

Canada Canada


France France


Republic of Ireland Ireland


Italy Italy


United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates


United Kingdom United Kingdom


United States United States

References[edit]

External links[edit]