Buick: ‘It was tough to get off The Fugue’
Saturday 4 August 2012
By Geoffrey Riddle
John Gosden bids to maintain the extraordinary momentum that he has built up this season by saddling both Izzi Top and The Fugue in Saturday’s Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
There have been 11 Group One races around Europe this year that have been restricted to fillies and the Clarehaven trainer has picked up four of the last five.
Elusive Kate got her career back on track with a victory in the Prix Rothschild last week, which augmented the wins of Great Heavens in the Irish Oaks, Izzi Top’s in the Pretty Polly and Fallen For You’s Royal Ascot heroics in the Coronation Stakes.
Despite all of his frustration at failing to win The Oaks on The Fugue, and the subsequent defeat at Royal Ascot to Princess Highway in the Ribblesdale Stakes, William Buick, the stable jockey has decided to ride Izzi Top. Richard Hughes will deputise on Lord Lloyd Webber’s filly.
“It was very tough to get off the Fugue,” Buick told Racing UK radio. “I am very aware that I might have made the wrong decision but I will have to wait and see and I hope I am right on the day.”
“In terms of pure ability I don’t see there is anything between them. I think right now, Izzi Top is a better filly. In time The Fugue will be every bit as good as Izzi Top but she might be better.”
Izzi Top has already struck at the highest level this year, landing last month's Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, and Buick is banking on her extra maturity to help her come out on top again.
"As I've said before, The Fugue should have won the Epsom Oaks and had she won that race, maybe my choice would have been different.
"I wouldn't split them, I think whatever order they finish in they'll be one and two. I think they will be very hard to beat for the other fillies."
Although there was six millimetres of rain overnight, racing today takes place on genuine good ground. It may not be perfectly tailored to either filly, but Gosden believes that both his charges would act on it.
"They both have different ground requirements as Izzi Top likes a bit of juice, while The Fugue prefers it on top and she hasn't had that since being knocked over at Epsom. The ground was a bit slow for The Fugue at Royal Ascot, but she ran well,” Gosden said.
"Izzi Top has got better and better this year. She is very talented and has always been very good looking. She was third in the Oaks last year but doesn't stay a mile and a half and she also chipped a hind joint that day which meant we had to give her time off.
"She won a Group Three at Saint-Cloud last backend on her only other start of 2011 and she has come out this season to be undefeated, winning the Dahlia, Middleton and Pretty Polly Stakes. She looks the obvious type for the Nassau, Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and then the Prix de l'Opera.
"The Fugue ran very well on soft ground in the 1000 Guineas to be fourth, where she was also struck into, before coming out and winning the Musidora Stakes well. Then there was the antics in the Oaks, which the less talked about the better, but she is a nice progressive filly."