William Buick was a welcome visitor to the winner’s enclosure on the opening afternoon of Royal Ascot, as he joined in the King’s Stand Stakes celebrations following the victory of Blue Point.
Buick, who was unshipped on the way to post from Sir Busker at Ascot on May 10, has 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 30-year-old, who is retained by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, subsequently spent some time at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where he underwent tests.
A big part of the Appleby team, he was a delighted onlooker, as his close friend James Doyle proved an able substitute in the big showdown with Battaash.
Buick said: “You’d have been happy the whole way. It was good. He had to show his versatility today as well, because of the rain – his best form suggested he was a fast-ground horse.
“I thought he toughed it out really well. It was a really good performance.
“You want everything to go right and James gave him a wonderful ride. He gave him an uncomplicated ride. He just ran his race and did the same as last year. When he hit the rising ground, he saw off Battaash at the end.”
He went on: “Of course you want to be here doing your job, but I’m not. The team is doing well and that’s the most important thing. A successful Royal Ascot for the team is very important.
“I’m good. I haven’t got a date yet (to return). I’m working away, recovering well and I’m leaving it in the doctor’s hands.
“It’s just a bit up in the air at the moment. Hopefully it won’t be too far away. Weeks, hopefully.
“I’m keeping fit. I’m back in the gym now. People have been very nice to me and I’ve had lots of well-wishers as well.”