William Buick targets strong night for Godolphin at Meydan on Super Saturday
Competing in six of the seven races, the jockey will look to clinch his second Carnival Jockeys Championship title.
Godolphin are out in force for the Super Saturday, the final meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival and a dress rehearsal for the Dubai World Cup night.
The Dubai Racing Operation have 25 horses entered across the seven-race card as they bid to win every prize that are on offer.
William Buick, the retained jockey for the Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby, rides in six races and is in a good position to wrap up his second Carnival Jockeys Championship title in three years.
He is on 11 winners at present, four more than his nearest challenger Christophe Soumillon who was the top jockey at the Carnival in 2017.
The Norwegian-born jockey rides Folkswood and Boynton in the two Group 1 races, the Jebel Hatta and the Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3, which are the respective fifth and sixth races on the schedule.
Folkswood is on the back of an impressive win in the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes in February, but faces an acid test from another Godolphin horse Benbatl, who is trained by Saeed bin Suroor.
Boynton runs in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3 and is Buick’s hope in the Dubai World Cup, provided he earns an entry to the US$10 million (Dh36.7m) race.
An impressive winner on his first local start at Meydan over 1,600 metres more than five weeks ago, Boynton tackles the 2,000m distance for the first time in seven career starts.
“He likes the surface and the style of racing,” said Buick. “He won well over the mile in his first start at Meydan and he’s up on the trip to a mile and-a-quarter now.
“He’s not won over this distance before and it’s a bit of a test for him. If he can win or run well, then we can consider him for the World Cup.”
Buick faces strong challenge from Bin Suroor’s Thunder Snow, winner of both the UAE 2000 Guineas and the UAE Derby last season, and winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 in his most recent start.
Buick can set the ball rolling aboard Masar in the Listed Al Bastakiya, the opening race of the event at 4pm.
“Masar is a high class colt and was placed in Group 1 already,” Buick said of the New Approach colt.
“He’s in good form and looks well. He’s never run on the dirt before but he’s trained on it, and seems to be quite comfortable with the surface.”
Buick's next ride is on Comicas 35 minutes later and is hoping the Distorted Humor gelding can bounce back after his defeat to My Catch just over four weeks ago.
“He was unlucky the last time as he had to come from an inside draw and didn’t like the kick-back,” explained Buick.
“He’s on the inside draw again. It’s not really ideal for him, but again, he’s in good form and on his best form he’s entitled to win.”
Jungle Cat is Buick’s pick in the third race from stable companions Baccarat and D’bai, both on who he recorded victories at the Carnival meeting.
“It was a choice between the three and as you could imagine it’s not an easy choice,” Buick concurred. “Jungle Cat is in good form and he’s coming back off a good win over 1,400m when James (Doyle) rode him.
“He’s back to 1,200m and won this race last year. He’s a horse on whom I have a soft spot for and I went with him.
“But on the back of my mind I’m very prepared that Baccarat and D’bai can come very close to me, or even beat me.”
Buick rides Hawkbill in the concluding Group 2 Dubai City of Gold which is a prep race for the five-year-old by Kitten’s Joy who is set to be aimed at the $6m Dubai Sheema Classic on the Dubai World Cup night.
“That’s what Super Saturday is all about,” added Buick. “It’s pretty much the trials for the Dubai World Cup and we are hopeful it to be a nice prep race for him.”
Buick, however, wants to get Super Saturday out of the way before thinking of the Dubai World Cup meeting.
“It will be a little bit clearer once we get the Super Saturday out,” he said. “But obviously we can imagine Gold Town running in the UAE Derby.
“He’s won his two races (including the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas) very impressively and we must respect his chances. Masar in the Al Bastakiya, we’ll see how he gets on.
“Then we have Blue Point in the Al Quoz Sprint. Hawksbill in the Sheema Classic. We’ll see how he gets on Saturday of course. And further than that it’s inconclusive and difficult to say.”
Updated: March 9, 2018 12:22 PM