Breeders' Cup hero Buick out to keep good run going
32Red Floodlit Stakes | Listed | 1m4f | RUK
Fresh from his groundbreaking first success at the Breeders' Cup with Wuheida, William Buick carries the Godolphin blue on Best Of Days in the smaller fare of this eight-runner Listed contest.
Hugo Palmer, who is almost on as demanding a schedule as Buick as he makes his way from California to Melbourne, is hopeful his one-time Derby hope can register his first success since his juvenile days.
The son of Azamour, who is making his first appearance on the all-weather, ran his most encouraging race for some time when third to Frontiersman in the Listed Godolphin Stakes at Newmarket last time.
Palmer said: “Best Of Days is in great form and has plenty of experience of Polytrack surfaces at home so that should not be an issue. The jockey is fresh from the ride of his life at the Breeders' Cup so there’s plenty of positives.”
Among the opposition is fellow Newmarket hope Western Hymn, who is out to win this for the second year after justifying 5-4 favouritism a year ago. Unlike on that occasion John Gosden’s stalwart has a 5lb penalty to contend with courtesy of a Group 3 win at Chester in May.
Jockey Robert Havlin said: “He’s unbeaten on the all-weather and has been training well of late. If he brings his best form to the table he's one of those to beat in the race. Obviously he has a penalty to overcome, but he should give a good account.”
The mile-and-a-half contest will be at the lower end of stamina limits for Dylan Mouth as connections have plans to run him in the Marathon on All-Weather Finals Day at Lingfield next spring.
Marco Botti’s contender was at one time under consideration for the Melbourne Cup, but is now set for a domestic winter campaign in the colours of Earle Mack. His racing manager Anthony Burke said: “This is very much plan C for Dylan Mouth but we're hoping he can be competitive and all roads now lead to the Marathon. This will tell us where we are with him and he likes the surface.”
Buick also appears to have an excellent chance in the following 32Red London Middle Distance Series Final Handicap (3.20) with the progressive Ply, who has been purchased privately by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum since his impressive win in a qualifier for this over course and distance last month.
The son of Dubawi is on a hat-trick at the venue and was not stopping when slamming Desert Ruler by three lengths that evening and an 11lb rise may not be enough to anchor him.
Also in the ten-runner line-up and fresh from a win in a qualifier is Western Duke, who was not unfancied despite going off at 25-1 when scoring here in September.
The son of High Chaparral accounted for the in-form Arab Moon when scoring by half a length that evening and trainer Ralph Beckett is hoping to bag some of the £70,000 prize-money, which is £25,000 more than the Listed race purse.
Beckett said: “My horses were out of form when Western Duke won that night but they’re in better nick now and he goes there with an obvious chance in what looks a competitive event.”