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Breeders' Cup breakthrough for Buick on Godolphin's Wuheida

Wuheida and William Buick after their Breeders' Cup win
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William Buick filled a gap in his big race record that he thought he had addressed four years earlier when he guided Godolphin's Wuheida to a victory that finally sealed his first Breeders' Cup win.

The jockey had walked off the track in tears in 2013 when denied a breakthrough success in the Breeders' Cup Turf on The Fugue by the Ryan Moore-ridden Magician who got up right on the line.

Having been forced to miss a key part of the summer due to fracturing vertebra in a horrible spill from Permian when riding in the US in August, Buick only got back into the saddle last month.

His 2017 Breeders' Cup had got off to an inauspicious start when he lost his iron on the unlucky Masar in the Juvenile Turf on Friday and earlier on Saturday he had again been edged out late by Moore when Declarationofpeace nabbed Sound And Silence in a Listed race.

But in the Filly & Mare Turf there was to be no late drama as Buick executed the perfect ride on Wuheida, keeping close to the pace and kicking the filly into a clear lead out of the turn which Moore could not reel back on Rhododendron.

William Buick celebrates winning on Wuheida

"It means everything to me, it's very special," said Buick, after riding his first Group 1 winner since scoring on Ribchester at Royal Ascot. "I've had plenty of goes at the Breeders' Cup but haven't been successful.

"She is incredibly professional. She has lots of ability and the trip really suited her. I was happy with her position throughout the race and she quickened down the straight really well."

Wuheida had been Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby's main Classic hope at the start of the year only to suffer injury. She had been due to contest the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in Keeneland but had to be scratched because of a hoof injury.

Fully recovered she was never in serious danger as she crossed the line a length in front of Rhododendron with Cambodia third. 

Appleby won the Juvenile Turf with Outstrip in 2013 in his first season with a licence and had not been back to the Breeders' Cup until this year. 

He said: "Wuheida deserved this – we always believed she was a Group 1 filly. She won a Group 1 at two but she's had it tough at three, missed the first part of her campaign - she's been ultra-consistent, running some great races. I am delighted – this is a big team effort.

"We knew the horse was in good order and William gave her a peach of a ride for his first Breeders' Cup winner. His only instructions were to go out there and just give you the spin round there and she's done that

"Going into first turn I knew we were in the right 'possy' and the fractions were going right for her as well. She's a strong finisher and the breaks came - when they were coming into that final turn, William angled her out there. He knew the horse on the inner was gonna come back on her and she got first run on everything."

Rhododendron was drawn widest and raced widest before Moore took her to the rail where she was momentarily checked as they made their run through. 

Moore said: "They didn’t go quick enough. She rolled a bit in the straight, but she is very brave."

Defending champion Queen's Trust could only reach fifth, with the race distance - over a furlong shorter than last year - not playing to her strengths. Hot favourite Lady Eli was seventh, France's Senga eighth and Nezwaah tenth. Connections of Lady Eli later reported that the mare had been struck into.

Queen's Trust's trainer Sir Michael Stoute said: "She ran well, but it didn’t go quite right for her in the race. Although, she was running on at the finish. She may just lack instant acceleration and maybe needs a little further."

Results and analysis

It means everything to me, it's very special
E.W. Terms
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