Debussy: squeezed home against therail under William BuickPicture: AP
Debussy wins Arlington Million for Gosden
Report: USA, Saturday
Arlington Park: Arlington Million (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
DEBUSSY, perfectly ridden by William Buick for trainer John Gosden, put in a huge late run along the rail to shock 4-5 favourite and reigning US turf champion Gio Ponti at 11-1.
All eyes were on the Gosden-trained 6-1 chance Tazeez (Richard Hills), who had taken the lead nearing the stretch turn and opened a big advantage into the straight. But he faltered late and could finish only third ahead of Rahystrada.
Debussy, last seen finishing fourth behind Arlington fifth Summit Surge at York, was fourth early on before being shuffled back. He then charged home under an inspired Buick.
Defending champion Gio Ponti, who was attempting to become the second dual winner of the race after the legendary John Henry and the first back-to-back winner, was last going into the first turn but improved his position down the backstretch and on the far turn.
William Buick: "clever" ridePICTURE: Gerry Cranham
He did himself no favours when challenging seven horses wide when turning for home under Ramon Dominguez, and he may not have seen the winner until it was too late.
Still, there was no doubting the resolve shown by Debussy, who appreciated the rain-softened ground, which turned from firm to good.
"He [Buick] rides cleverly," Gosden told the Daily Racing Form. "He doesn't panic ina race. He didn't panic today."
Buick, who partnered the Gosden-trained Dar Re Mi to victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March, told the Blood-Horse: "I thought, 'Oh, no, I have so much horse, but I'm not going to have enough room'. But then the hole opened and we got it."
Debussy's most important previous victory had come in the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte last July.
He now has won five of 14 starts for his owner Princess Haya of Jordan.