IT’S been a season to remember for the boys in blue.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick have been two peas in a pod this summer, landing big race, after big race.
The duo delivered Sheikh Mohammed’s first Derby in his own iconic Royal blue and picked up major wins at Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood, as well as on Arc day in France.
Buick has been at the centre of the resurgent operation and notched up seven Group 1s himself.
The 30-year-old said: “We hit it off from the word go in Dubai and kept it going all the way through.
“It’s been amazing to be part of a stable that’s held it’s form all summer. The team at Charlie’s [Appleby] have done brilliantly all year.”
Buick’s personal highlight was his red letter day on Masar that sparked memorable scenes in the Epsom Winners’ Enclosure.
He added: “For Sheikh Mohammed to win the Derby in his own silks was very, very special.
“It meant a lot for people outside of Godolphin as well.
“There’s the monetary side of things, but he’s been in racing for nearly 40 years because of his passion and love for it, it runs through his veins and it’s important for the sport.”
Following a horror fall from Permian in America that left Buick hospitalised last August, it was fitting he steered home his first Derby winner early the next season.
He added: “Masar was hugely important for me, that was the missing one and I’ve gone close in it too many times!
“I’ve won seven G1s so far, which is not my best but it’s still a special year, with hopefully more to come.”
With the likes of Masar to come back from injury and Quorto on the Classics hunt, Buick is already excited for next spring to roll around.
He continued: “We never really dwell on things too much, we look ahead to the next assignment and make the most of that.
“Quorto has the perfect record this year and he couldn’t have done anymore than what he’s done in his three starts this year.
“He’s a hugely exciting horse for next year, no doubt he’ll be aimed at the Guineas. We’ll learn a lot about him trip wise over the early weeks too.”
In the immediate future Buick has a couple of eye-catching mounts at Saturday’s QIPCO British Champions Day. None more so than Crystal Ocean who takes on Cracksman in the Champion Stakes.
He said: “He lost nothing in defeat in the King George and that was a strong race.
“I think the drop in trip will suit, he’s always travelled well and has won at this trip before.
“He’s won on soft before and I think he’s got a big shout.
He also partners the well fancied Century Dream in the QEII mile showpiece.
He continued: “Century Dream will run a big race. The softer the ground the better for him, he’s a horse that’s improved no end all season and Simon [Crisford] has done a great job with him.
“His Arlington Million fourth was a terrific run last time, on ground that doesn’t suit.”
Buick also partners Balmoral chance Kynren in the closing handicap.
He’s been a talking horse all summer for the big pots and Buick rode the four-year-old for the first time in the Cambridgeshire.
QIPCO British Champions Day takes place at Ascot on Saturday. For tickets go to britishchampionsseries.com