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Buick feels familiarity with Ortensia will prove invaluable for Haydock Sprint Cup bid
7th Sep 2012
Daily Mail - Marcus Townend - Thursday, 6 September 2012
Jockey William Buick feels the experience getting to know Ortensia could be crucial when the duo line up in Saturday’s Haydock Sprint Cup. Buick has ridden the Aussie mare three times.
He was on board when she finished fourth to Mayson in heavy ground in Newmarket’ s July Cup before winning the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The jockey then said he had never travelled so fast in race when Ortensia came from virtually last to first in the five-furlong Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting.
Buick said: ‘Newmarket was a complete write off because it was not her ground. It is like any horse really, you get to know them and she is a very good mare. I have struck up a very good relationship with her.
‘It was amazing where she came from at York but that is her running style.’
One of the most serious barriers to Ortensia landing a second group one sprint in Britain this summer has been removed with Richard Fahey’s Mayson missing from the list if her 14 opponents.
The July Cup winner has been scratched after showing signs of an infection.
Fahey said: ‘He just didn't scope right so we can't take a chance. It's disappointing for everyone, but I suppose that's how it goes sometimes. Because we are not running him it shouldn't be too long. He should recover quick enough.
‘There's the Abbaye (at Longchamp) and he's in at Ascot (Qipco British Champions Sprint) as well so we'll see.’
Coral make Paul Messara-trained Ortensia the 2-1 favourite with Roger Charlton’ s Bated Breath, who was runner-up in last year’s Sprint Cup, a 7-2 chance.
Bated Breath was only sixth to Ortensia in the Nunthorpe but the drying ground should suit him better on Saturday on a track where he broke the track record when winning the furlong shorter Temple Stakes in May.
Buick, with seven group one winners already this season, is also chasing top-flight glory in Ireland on Saturday with John Gosden’s Nathaniel in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
He will share a helicopter from Haydock to Dublin with Frankie Dettori, who partners Ed Dunlop’s Snow Fairy in the Irish race in the absence of injured Ryan Moore.
The two hopes, trying to secure a first British winner in the race since Saeed Bin Suroor’s Grandera in 2002, face four home-trained opponents.
Aidan O'Brien, who has won the Irish Champion Stakes a record seven times, runs St Nicholas Abbey, last seen when third to Frankel in the International Stakes at York, and Daddy Long Legs.
Johnny Murtagh will ride Born To Sea for John Oxx, while Light Heavy represents Jim Bolger.L