Buick set to challenge Craven meeting suspension
William Buick is set to lodge an appeal against an eight-day riding ban that has ruled him out of the Craven meeting at Newmarket.
The Godolphin jockey, riding for the first time in Britain since landing the Sheema Classic on Jack Hobbs, was suspended by stewards at Chelmsford on Thursday night after they ruled he should have pulled up the John Gosden-trained Zillion, who was later found to be lame.
Zillion, owned by Princess Haya of Jordan and making his first start in a mile maiden, finished fourth of five, beaten ten and a quarter lengths, with Buick appearing to let the three-year-old finish in his own time, after coming wide into the straight and the colt hanging to his left from over a furlong out.
The stewards' inquiry report said Zillion, who started 3-1 second favourite, "broke slowly from the stalls and tracked the leaders until being asked for an effort entering the bend into the home straight, whereupon he was tenderly ridden to finish fourth".
Buick told the panel that despite his best efforts the colt had hung violently left up the straight, which he reported to the clerk of the scales, and Gosden's representative said the trainer was satisfied with the ride in the circumstances.
The stewards found Buick in breach of the rules "in that he failed to pull up a horse where it was contrary to the horse’s welfare to continue, as there was a problem which was materially affecting the colt’s performance".
Stipendiary steward Sam Angell told At The Races: "Initially the stewards had concerns over the effort Mr Buick was making in the straight. He did not appear to be giving the horse a hands and heels ride, so we inquired into what the reason was for that.
'Disappointed to be missing Craven meeting'
“William did report at scales that the horse had hung badly and under his opinion was unrideable.
"The rules require that he give the horse a hands and heels ride. Having established there is something wrong that is materially affecting its performance to such a degree that he can’t give it a hands and heels ride, at that stage William has to pull the horse up, as the rules are written."
Contacted in the immediate aftermath by the Racing Post, Buick said: "I’m disappointed to potentially be missing the Craven meeting."
He has until close of business on Monday to formally lodge an appeal, but he has engaged legal representation and Professional Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Struthers said on Friday: "William will be appealing."
The ban, from April 13 to 20, covers all three days of the important Craven meeting when Buick, now Godolphin's only British-based retained rider with James Doyle in Australia, could expect to be in high demand during a key period for assessing his connections' Classic hopefuls.