William Buick is a Derby-winning jockey with a difference as he is fluent in Norwegian, Danish and German as well as English.
He had already enjoyed big-race glory around the world before being employed by Godolphin as first jockey for trainer Charlie Appleby.
That alliance led to him partnering Masar to Investec Derby glory in 2018 (below), giving Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation a cherished first win of the premier Classic in blue colours.
Ghaiyyath was also a contender for that Derby only to be ruled out by injury.
He would realise his full potential under Buick in 2020 when winning the Hursworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup, Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International. He was acclaimed as the greatest racehorse in the world.
Ghaiyyath’s exploits helped the Newmarket-based rider finish runner-up to Oisin Murphy in the jockeys’ championship. He was in contention until the penultimate day of the season but ended nine winners behind the defending champion on 133.
Other great horses that William Buick has partnered have included Dar Re Mi, Nathaniel, Dream Ahead, The Fugue, Ribchester, Jack Hobbs, Hawkbill and Blue Point.
Born in Norway, Buick hails from a family with lots of equestrian background. His mother Maria became a showjumper and dressage rider, while his father Walter enjoyed a long career as a jockey, being champion jockey eight times in Denmark and once in Norway.
Buick rode out for his father in Germany and for Norwegian champion trainer Wido Neuroth. He would get up in the middle of winter and ride work in sub-zero temperatures before heading to school for his studies.
He started his career in Britain at Andrew Balding’s yard at Kingsclere, becoming an apprentice jockey after leaving school at the age of 16.
He ended 2008 as joint-champion apprentice and was appointed stable jockey to John Gosden at the start of 2010, despite never having ridden for the Newmarket handler before. St Leger wins on Arctic Cosmos (2010) and Masked Marvel (2011) followed.
In total, Buick has had more than 1300 winners in Britain. 186 of them have been in Group or Listed races.