William Buick prepared for one of the most important days of his life yesterday by taking the Leading Jockey title at the Qatar Goodwood Festival for a second time, partnering seven winners over the five days.
The 33-year-old, who also took the award in 2014, will be hoping for another successful union today when he gets married.
Buick’s victories at the meeting included a sensational display from French challenger Suesa in Friday’s Gr2 King George Qatar Stakes.
The jockey enjoyed further Gr2 success on Saturday with Wonderful Tonight, who outclassed her rivals in the Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes.
Buick said: “I’m delighted to be leading jockey at Glorious Goodwood. I knew I had some good rides. It is always a week you look back on and think there are one or two races you would like to have a go at again but, all in all, it has been a great week.
“I am really pleased, Suesa and Wonderful Tonight being the highlights. I had some nice rides coming into the week and was quite positive.
“I’ve now got my wedding today. I’m a bit nervous now but it should be a brilliant day and we’re getting married at a church opposite where we live. Now I have got to get my head into my speech – all week I have been focusing on my job, now I am going to focus on today! It should be a great day. James Doyle is my best man.”
A double on the final day was enough to clinch the Leading Trainer award for Andrew Balding, who ended the week on five victories. Headlining an excellent meeting for the Kingsclere handler was the performance of Alcohol Free, who became the first filly since Soviet Song in 2004 to capture the G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes on Wednesday.
Balding said: “I thought we had a chance coming into today and we’ve had a couple of winners.
“We have targeted this meeting with the right horses. The ground suited most of them and it has been a good week.
“It was a special moment for us with Alcohol Free. She is a special filly and we really enjoyed it.”