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Monday, 21 January, 2019

Buick cleared to ride in the Derby after BHA disciplinary hearing

William Buick: clear to ride in the Derby
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William Buick lost an appeal but won the right to ride at the Investec Derby meeting after he had his ban reduced to four days by a BHA disciplinary panel on Friday.

The Godolphin jockey failed to overturn the York stewards' decision to find him guilty of careless riding the Friday before but persuaded the panel in London to issue a four-day suspension, rather than the five days previously imposed.

It means Buick will no longer be sidelined on June 2 and 3, when the Oaks, Coronation Cup and Derby are run, because they clash with Group 1 racedays, a process allowed only for suspensions of four days or fewer.

He said: "I thought we had a very valid case and put up decent evidence. The big bonus is that I can ride at Epsom. I've got to get a Derby ride now.

"I don't know what I ride in the Oaks or the Derby, or the Coronation Cup for that matter. Of course, I couldn't make any plans before. Now hopefully I can."

Buick would be expected to ride Jack Hobbs in the Coronation Cup if he takes his chance, while Godolphin have several entries in the Derby, in which the jockey is highly likely to be involved.

He had been stood down for a potentially costly five days over an incident in the final race of the Dante meeting, when the field came across the course towards the stands' rail and Buick's mount Alqamar caused interference approaching the three-furlong marker before going on to win.

The panel, sitting at BHA headquarters in Holborn, London, was told the interference led to Brimham Rocks, ridden by Fran Berry, being taken off his line and in turn hampering Taxmeifyoucan, under Jim Crowley.

Lyn Williams, putting the BHA case, said Buick had allowed his horse to go across to the stands' rail and not taken reasonable steps to avoid the interference, which he argued was considerable.

In evidence given by phone, Berry conceded he had received "quite a hefty bump" which "happened very quickly" as Williams suggested both he and Crowley had underplayed the seriousness of the incident.

Yet champion jockey Crowley said Buick had been "unlucky" and his ride did not deserve criticism because the field had been led towards the stands' side by the race leader as they entered the straight.

"He was very unlucky," he said. "When horses go to the rail this can happen. He had both hands on his reins and when he felt his horse touch Mr Berry's he corrected the horse straight away."

Buick's barrister Graeme McPherson QC said he accepted there was interference and that Buick caused it, but did not accept he was guilty of careless riding.

Buick said Alqamar was a quirky horse and because of the wet weather last week riding at York had been "a nightmare".

"By Friday we were racing all over the place," he said. "The one place I didn't want to be on was the stands' side rail because the ground was softest there."

He said he had been caught off guard when the field headed across, which caused a concertina effect.

"My horse was shying away from the horse on my left," he said. "I reacted as quick as I possibly could. He was going where I didn't want him to go."

Williams argued the interference was not the horse's fault and after the panel found Buick in breach recommended a penalty at the bottom end of the five to 14 days in the guidelines because the interference fell into the "considerable" category.

McPherson said it was "not considerable" and was due to a failure to take corrective action, for which the recommended suspension is two to four days.

The panel upheld the appeal in part and suspended Buick from June 5 to 7 and June 9. It ordered that the deposit be returned.

The big bonus is that is I can ride at Epsom. I've got to get a Derby ride now

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William Buick
E.W. Terms
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