Ortensia winning the King George Stakes at Goodwood under William BuickPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Ortensia connections outline Buick importance
JOCKEY William Buick is crucial to Betfred Sprint Cup favourite Ortensia, according to connections who will be devastated if the rider cannot partner the Australian speedster at Haydock on Saturday.
Buick first rode the Paul Messara-trained mare to finish fourth in the July Cup but has since excelled on her, recording wins in the King George Stakes and Nunthorpe.
However, he is set to ride Nathaniel for his boss John Gosden in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday as well.
His cause has been helped by Haydock running the Sprint Cup 35 minutes earlier than planned, giving the rider 140 minutes to head to Leopardstown for the Irish Champion at 5.45pm.
Leah Gravanich, who is supervising Ortensia's stay in Britain, said on Monday morning: "William is very important and I'd go as far to say he's got a better partnership with her than anyone who has ridden her - he just understands her.
"Early on in her races he doesn't bustle her or push her around. He lets her find her feet and I think that tells at the end of her races. He gets a tune out of her."
Regarding Buick not being able to ride, she added: "It's a massive concern for us. Hopefully he'll be able to ride, but obviously he has to ride Nathaniel for John Gosden. We'll look at back-up plans and there are a few names in the pipeline, but I'll be devastated if William can't ride."
Ortensia's two wins in Britain have been over 5f and she tackles 6f in the Sprint Cup, but that is not a worry for Gravanich.
"She won a Group 1 in Australia over six furlongs so I've no doubts about the trip and I'm very happy where she's at," she said, speaking to At The Races.
"She's really loving life and will hopefully show she's as good at six furlongs as she is at five."
Ortensia is around the 3-1 mark for Saturday's Group 1.