William Buick has hailed his victory aboard Masar in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday as the greatest moment of his career to date.
Although the 29-year-old has tasted victory at the top level across the world, he has placed his success aboard the Charlie Appleby-trained son of New Approach at the top of the pile.
He said: “I would say it’s my biggest win. I’ve ridden in it a few times and come second a couple of times.
“Breeders’ Cup races are very big but the Derby there is something special about it.
“I think any horse person in the world, certainly this part of the world, would say it’s the race to win.
“I’ve ticked that box 100 per cent now and I want to tick it again.
“You can never rest on your laurels but in this sport you move on so quickly. You have to keep focused and keep your hunger up.
“To see Sheikh Mohammed and all the family so happy, for me personally, and for everyone involved, it meant a huge amount.”
He added: “It probably hasn’t quite sunk in, the magnitude of it and that it was the first blue colours of Godolphin to win it – and for me to be the jockey to deliver that success.
“I’m working through thanking everyone and it is very nice to see all the well-wishes and people writing lovely messages and congratulating me.”
“This is what it’s all about and what everyone in the sport gets up in the morning for. ”
Victory in the Group One prize was not just a long-held ambition for Buick, it was also a day that Masar’s groom Said Bahadar had been dreaming would come true for his pride and joy.
He said: “The last two furlongs he was still on the bridle and I thought, ‘Oh my God, he is going to win the Derby’.
“After he won the Derby I was over the moon. It was a dream come true that was the important thing.
“He is a gentleman and he is like a pony at home he is so good. He loves going out for a pick of the grass with me.
“We felt he could win a big race but we now hope he can win the Irish Derby as well so we are crossing our fingers for that.”
While Appleby may have received plenty of well-done messages from across the industry, there is unlikely to be anyone prouder of his achievement than his wife of almost 12 years, Aisling.
She said: “I am just so relieved and I couldn’t believe he had done it. I was an emotional wreck afterwards.
“I messaged my sister before saying I hated racing as I was so nervous for him. The amount of people that have rung to congratulate him is incredible.
“We were hoping he would get placed so then we could leave as soon as we could as we had pony club the next morning but that didn’t work out!
“I was just so delighted for him as he had dreamed of having a Derby winner.”