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Buick and Balding Top Qatar Goodwood Festival

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Jockey William Buick and trainer Andrew Balding were named the Qatar Goodwood Festival Leading Jockey and Leading Trainer, respectively, on Saturday.

Buick, who gets married on Sunday, had previously won the award in 2014. The 33-year-old's best rides of the week were Suesa (Ire) (Night of Thunder {Ire})'s win in the G2 King George Qatar S. and Saturday's G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry S. heroine Wonderful Tonight (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}).

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 tomorrow. 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 tomorrow! It should be a great day. James Doyle is my best man.”

Balding's horses won two races on Saturday, giving him a total of five wins at the meeting, good enough to take the trainers' title. The Kingsclere handler sent out Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never) to scoop the G1 Qatar Sussex S. on Wednesday, the first time since Soviet Song (Ire) (Marju {Ire}) in 2004 a filly had won the iconic showpiece.

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.”

At the conclusion of the five-day meeting, Jon Barnett, Goodwood Racecourse's Director, said, “We were delighted to have been the first major racing festival to welcome back full capacity crowds. The atmosphere on course has been fabulous throughout with a real buzz, particularly on Friday and Saturday where crowd levels were as good as we can remember with a sell-out capacity reached in a number of enclosures.

“The weather largely remained unsettled, but the racing stories and true 'Glorious Goodwood' experience shone through. Attendance for the week has reached 2019 levels, which was a fantastic year for us, with sales on food and beverage far higher than we would normally have anticipated as racegoers celebrated a return to the Festival.

“Finally, we must extend our sincere thanks to the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, who have been the headline sponsor for the seventh year. Without their support alongside our other official partners, including Unibet, this would not be possible.


The post Buick and Balding Top Qatar Goodwood Festival appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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