William Buick was elated after receiving a double dose of good news for Saturday’s Derby at Epsom.
The rider successfully appealed a ban which threatened to rule him out of the premier British Classic while he was then confirmed for the ride on Mark Johnston’s Dante winner Permian, an 11/1 chance to win the Derby.
Buick had a five-day imposed by York stewards’ following the Dante meeting but he took his appeal to the BHA in London where a panel reduced his careless riding ban by one day, ensuring he would not have to sit out any days where Group 1 races were taking place.
He then travelled to Johnston’s Middleham base on Saturday to ride work on Permian, after it was confirmed that he would take the sit on the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt for the Epsom Classic.
Buick has ridden Permian just once before in his nine-race career, the pair easily scoring in a Windsor nursery in August last. He couldn’t have been any happier with what he had under him in his workout at Johnston’s yard and is now eagerly looking ahead to Epsom.
“I’m very pleased to be riding him in the Derby. He’s in good shape and I was very happy with him,” he said afterwards.
“He’s always been a very neat horse physically, very well-balanced. He’s improved from two to three, and I feel he has improved again from the spring to now.
“Mentally, he is solid. He has a good mind. In any year, the Dante winner is never far away in the Derby, and I hope that proves true again this time,” the jockey added.
Retained rider at Godolphin, Buick has yet to sample Derby glory on the famous Epsom Downs. He’ll be hoping Permian can emulate recent Dante scorers Authorized (2007) and Golden Horn (2015) by adding Epsom Classic success to their wins on the Knavesmire.
Cracksman, who narrowly defeated Permian in an Epsom Derby Trial last month, is the 10/3 favourite to give trainer John Gosden a second Derby win in three years.
Godolphin meanwhile are set to have their Derby attack spearheaded by impressive Lingfield trial winner Best Solution, currently trading at 10/1 for Saturday’s Group 1 mile-and-a-half test.