Buick back in winning groove on return from injury

Lazuli provides perfect comeback

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William Buick made the prefect return to the saddle after an absence of 12 weeks with victory aboard Lazuli at Newmarket on Friday evening.

Buick, who was unshipped from Sir Busker on the way to post at Ascot on May 10, had been out of action since partnering the Charlie Appleby-trained two-year-old newcomer Expressionist to victory at the same track 24 hours later.

He missed his intended mounts in France the next day after reportedly feeling unwell.

The 31-year-old, retained by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, subsequently spent some time at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where he underwent tests.

Riding the Gimcrack-entered Lazuli for Appleby in the Godolphin blue, Buick could not have wished for a better comeback ride, as the son of Dubawi moved with purpose throughout, before quickening up the hill for an impressive two-and-a-half-length triumph as the 11-8 favourite.

Buick told Racing TV: “I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve had so much support since I’ve been off, everyone has been great, especially my family and Charlie and Sheikh Mohammed.

“They’ve really been behind me and supported me, and when you are off for a length of time it just gives you that confidence and really gives you motivation to get back better than you’ve ever been.

“I’m in a very fortunate position to be coming back to nice horses to ride and I’m very thankful for all the support I have.”

Expanding on his head injury, he said: “It was a bit of freak thing, I had a good weekend ahead of me that weekend and probably looking back I probably didn’t feel right.

“It was one of those unfortunate things, which they usually are. The reaction came the next day, but it’s just one of those things, it behind me now which I’m glad it is and it’s onwards and upwards.

“As jockeys in this country we are very lucky to have Dr Jerry Hill looking after us and he was very, very good to me and very forthcoming with his advice. He really helped me to come back in the best possible shape.

“When you have that much time off, you can do all you want in the gym and stuff like that, but it’s nothing quite the same (as riding in a race), and even though it was an easy winner and I didn’t do much work, I’m pleased with where I am.”

He added of Lazuli: “He was one of the first horses I rode when I started (back) riding out, he’s a lovely horse.

“He’s a pretty quick horse, I think, he showed a great turn of foot there and it will be interesting to see what trip he ends up being best at.”

Welcoming Buick’s return, Appleby said: “William is a vital part of the team. I’m delighted to give him his first winner back.

“From the team’s point of view, we need him for the future, not just for today, it’s just great to have him back and to have a winner.

“Like any sportsman you want to come back and have a winner and work away from there.”

Buick back in winning groove on return from injury
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