Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH
Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH

Norwegian-born jockey William Buick has opted to ride Derby winner Adayar rather than stablemate Hurricane Lane in Sunday’s €5m Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Buick, 33,  is hot property in European racing and was signed up by Godolphin in 2015. It has proved a good move for both parties.

Though Buick wasn’t in the saddle for Adayar’s Derby triumph, he partnered the three-year-old to a memorable win in the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. The colt was then meant to run in the Prix Neil in France but missed that race due to a minor setback.

Earlier this month Buick rode the favourite Hurricane Lane to victory in the St Leger at Doncaster, increasing speculation that — with a worry about Adayar — he would select the colt as his Arc mount. This is despite that no horse has won the St Leger and gone on to take the Arc.

However, all seemed well again with Adayar in a home gallop last week and this prompted Buick to tell the media he would ride the son of Frankel in Paris.

Charlie Appleby, who trains both Adayar and Hurricane Lane, said it must have been a “hard choice” for the young rider.

“William is confident he’s picking the right horse. I’m always happy for jockeys to be able to choose the horse they would like to ride. That means they have confidence in the horse and they take that into the race,” said Appleby.

Talking about Hurricane Lane, also a son of Frankel, the UK trainer said: “The one thing he does not want is a quick surface. Adayar comes into the versatile category, but we have always felt that ease in the ground encourages Hurricane Lane’s prospects. Unfortunately, the weather in Paris is out of our hands.”

Asked which horse Appleby rated as the main danger to his duo, the trainer had no hesitation in naming Dermot Weld’s filly Tarnawa, who heads the betting market at 5-2.

“Fillies at this time of year — if they are going in the right direction — can be very hard to beat. Tarnawa’s credentials are first class. She is a grade 1 winner over the Arc course and distance, she’s a Breeders Cup winner and she finished a very good second in the Irish Champion Stakes,” Appleby said.

The Vaal hosts an eight-event card on Tuesday and Muzi Yeni will fancy his chances of winning the sixth race on the consistent four-year-old Valyrian King.

One runner Yeni will be worried about is a colt he knows well, Alesian Chief. This son of Vercingetorix has finished first or second for trainer Corrie Lensley in his last four starts.

Lensley has booked apprentice Joshwin Solomons for the ride and the youngster did this column a favour when scoring on 10-1 chance Life Goes On at Turffontein last Saturday.

Bold Ransom and Ikigai also come into the reckoning — the latter hinted a dry spell might be over when only two lengths behind Kasimir at Greyville in July.

The best race of the day could be the last where two promising fillies, Just Fabulous and Sister Light, clash over 1,450m. The interesting factor here is that their respective breeders, Varsfontein and Lammerskraal, kept them for themselves and didn’t put them on the market.

Just Fabulous is out of Varsfontein’s five-time winner Sunsational but can she give half a kilo to the equally well-bred Sister Light? The answer is to take as many boxed exactas as one can afford.

SELECTIONS

1st Race: (5) Arverni Warrior (6) Edward Longshanks (8) Moya Wa Laliga (3) Cross Examiner

2nd Race: (5) Definitely Maybe (11) Pink Legacy (3) Red Hot (7) Escape Artist

3rd Race: (1) Ontheverge (9) Putting Green (2) Lady Fair (6) Twenty Four Kay

4th Race: (1) Motown Magic (6) Indelible (7) JP Two Thousand (2) Indian War Dance

5th Race: (9) Platinum Sky (2) Theory Of Flight (8) Banha Bridge (3) Set The Standard

6th Race: (8) Alesian Chief (5) Valyrian King (2) Bold Ransom (4) Ikigai

7th Race: (4) Sultanah (1) Anne Boleyn (6) Phoenix (7) Aryaam

8th Race: (5) Just Fabulous (6) Sister Light (1) Hollywoodbound (2) Elusive Woman

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