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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Weighed In: the best and worst from this week's racing

William Buick: off the track for almost two months through injury before making a stylish return on Saturday
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Performance of the week

That comes from the land down under, where Winx made it 21 wins on the trot in sensational style when winning the Group 1 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes by six and a half lengths from the former Richard Hannon inmate Ventura Storm.

She dazzled on her first visit to Flemington. The step back up to 1m2f clearly helped – she has been racing over seven furlongs and a mile since her return to the track in August – and she cruised through the race before powering right away under a less than urgent Hugh Bowman.

A crowd reported north of 20,000 strong was present for her 14th Group 1 win and it is now all systems go as she attempts to join Kingston Town as only the second horse to win three Cox Plates. History awaits. 

Disappointment of the week

It is the gut-wrenching side of racing but the loss of Mega Fortune at Limerick on Sunday was an unwelcome reminder of just how brutal this game can be. 

The Grade 1 winner and Triumph Hurdle runner-up was sent off the 1-7 favourite and was eight lengths clear and in total control when a mistake two out cost him his life. 

Trainer Gordon Elliott, jockey Davy Russell and owner Chris Jones have lost a highly talented horse. His groom, work-rider and the horses and staff based at Elliott's yard have lost a friend.

Welcome return

William Buick made a winning return to the track on Saturday as he guided the exciting Blue Point home in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot.

A nasty injury sustained in the incident at the end of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes – which cost the popular Mark Johnston-trained colt Permian his life – at Arlington in Chicago has kept Buick off the track for almost two months.

Blue Point (William Buick) is clear of Projection going into the final 100 yards of the John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot

His target was to be back in time for Champions Day and, having rehabbed the fracture to his T12 vertebra, Buick proved everything was in fine working order and he now has a week to get race-sharp before Dewhurst/Cesarewitch day at Newmarket.

Adios amigo

While one young gun returned one of the weighing room's elder statesmen Jimmy Fortune called time on an illustrious career that encompassed more than 1,800 winners – 16 of which came at the highest level – at Newmarket on Saturday.

Fortune was allowed to return before the winner after finishing third on his final ride in the Group 1 Sun Chariot aboard Nathra for his old boss John Gosden.

The 2007 St Leger-winning jockey landed the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Raven's Pass, a Middle Park on Oasis Dream and the Pretty Polly Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks on Dar Re Mi.

Picture of the week

Celebration time: Danny Tudhope flourishes his whip after bringing Suedois through to win the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland

Danny Tudhope celebrates winning the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, and his share of the £487,805 prize-money, aboard the David O'Meara-trained Suedois. 

Quote of the week

"I am a big believer in winning what you can win so at the moment the mares' race at Cheltenham would be the plan."

Gordon Elliott, trainer of Cheltenham and Punchestown Champion Bumper winner Fayonagh who made a bloodless start to her hurdling career with a two and a half length win, is clearly a fully paid up member of the 'keep your horses in the worst company' mindset.

Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news

I am a big believer in winning what you can win so at the moment the mares race at Cheltenham would be the plan
E.W. Terms
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