The Champion Jockey - William Buick

Features | 11th October 2022

Rarely can there have been a more deserving champion jockey than William Buick

A Popular Winner

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s number one rider was unfortunate to miss out last season when narrowly beaten by Oisin Murphy following a Titanic battle. He has set the record straight this season with a relentless pursuit of his first jockeys’ title that has left the rest of his weighing room colleagues trailing. 

William has an unassailable lead going into the final days of the season. He will be crowned as leading jockey at Ascot on Saturday as part of the season-ending celebrations on Qipco Champions Day and it is hard to imagine a more popular winner.

Friendly Rivalry

A season that started in slight frustration for the 34-year-old, has kept getting better and better. He could’ve been excused for thinking he would be picking up the big prize on day one of the jockeys’ title race as he partnered hot favourite Native Trail in the Qipco 2000 Guineas. The pair narrowly lost out in a thrilling finish but, if they had to be beaten, William could not have been happier with the result. His great friend James Doyle was successful on Coroebus and the victory gave Godolphin trainer Appleby his first win in the Newmarket Group 1.

William, born in Norway, didn’t have to wait long for Classic victories of his own. Modern Games won the French 2000 Guineas and Native Trail went one better than at Newmarket when landing the Irish version of the colts’ Classic. William was back on Coroebus when he overcame trouble to land the St James’s Palace Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot. He added four more winners during Flat racing’s most important week and he went on to dominate another of the great summer festivals.

Among The World’s Best

His six winners at the Qatar Goodwood Festival made him the meeting’s top jockey for the second successive year and those half-dozen victories kept him clear in the race to be champion jockey. William has since ridden top-level winners in France, America and Canada to underline his standing as one of the premier riders on the international stage. 

Last week, a fine front-running ride on Pogo in the Group 2 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Challenge Stakes gave him his 150th winner of a sensational season. He enjoyed a stellar weekend with trebles on either day of Newmarket’s big Dewhurst Stakes meeting. His three Saturday winners included a Group 3 double on Flying Honours and Silver Knott. Both horses are live Classic prospects for next season adding to an already glittering array of talent at Appleby’s Godolphin stables. It capped a super week as it came just a few days after William and his wife Jane welcomed the arrival of their second child, a baby boy.

Not even the inevitable sleepless nights that come with a newborn baby will be able to knock the smile off William’s face as he heads to Ascot for Qipco Champions Day this Saturday. He is sure to have a strong book of rides as he prepares to wear the champion jockey’s crown for the first time. It’s unlikely to be the last as William is a champion in every sense of the word.