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Buick's title hopes receive a huge blow after Kempton is abandoned

William Buick: rode a double at Kempton before the decision was made to abandon
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William Buick's hopes of landing a first jockeys' championship were dealt a severe blow on Thursday evening after Kempton's all-weather card was abandoned due to fog after three races.

Buick made a blistering start with a quickfire double on what was meant to be a nine-race card, winning the first division of the mile novice aboard Qaasid before odds-on favourite Wirko obliged in the second division 35 minutes later.

However, by post-time of that race the fog had descended across the track, with jockeys reporting that visibility was becoming increasingly difficult.

Jockeys, BHA stewards and clerk of the course, Barney Clifford, staged an inspection prior to the fourth race, but with the fog becoming heavier and showing no signs of lifting, a unanimous decision was made to cancel the meeting.

Kempton: racing on Thursday evening was abandoned due to heavy fog

Clifford said: "This morning it was foggy early doors, so I was concerned about it. We ran three races and could hardly see William ride his second winner, so Ed Gretton, who is clerking for me, called me out and we had a drive on the infield. It was very patchy, but there were a couple of furlongs where you couldn't see at all.

"Coming into the home straight, William and the other jockeys were concerned about not being able to see in the home straight. Their goggles were fogging up and not clearing, which magnified our concerns.

"I feel very sorry for William in his pursuit of the championship. We don't take these decisions lightly, but safety is paramount."

The double took Buick to 133 winners for the season, nine behind reigning champion Oisin Murphy, who leads with 142 victories. However, Buick had four other rides on the card as he looked to eat into that lead with Murphy out of action in Britain due to his commitments to Qatar Racing at the Breeders' Cup.

While his chances of catching Murphy are slim, Buick is not officially out of contention and has four rides at Newcastle on Friday evening before seven at Doncaster's final Flat turf meeting on Saturday, which will bring the curtain down on the championship.

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I feel very sorry for William in his pursuit of the championship. We don't take these decisions lightly, but safety is paramount

Key data

William Buick
E.W. Terms