2023 Flat jockeys’ championship betting: Buick odds-on for repeat success
William Buick is 2/5 favourite in Coral’s Flat jockeys’ championship betting for 2023 having been crowned champion for the first time at Ascot on Saturday.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Having won the championship by some distance this season, we make William Buick the odds-on favourite to win back-to-back titles next year despite the return of his big rival, Oisin Murphy, our 3/1 second favourite.”
Oslo-born Buick has come a long way since finishing second aboard Tiny Tim on his first ride for his then mentor Andrew Balding at Brighton 16 years ago. Bank On Benny became his first winner at Salisbury the following month and they have flowed with increasing regularity ever since.
This flat season was simply astonishing for William Buick.
After missing out on being crowned champion on the final day of the season last year, he has left no-one in doubt of his superiority this time around.
Congratulations on becoming Champion Jockey! 🏇 pic.twitter.com/rAfaJnRxPm
— Coral (@Coral) October 15, 2022
Now aged 34, Buick is firmly established as one of the world’s leading jockeys, with 33 Group One wins in Britain – including the 2018 Derby aboard Masar and a hat-trick of St Leger triumphs – supplemented by a whole host of top-level triumphs on foreign soil.
He came tantalisingly close to the being crowned champion 12 months ago, as a titanic tussle with Murphy went right down to the final day at Ascot.
A Champions Day success aboard Creative Force in the Qipco British Champions Sprint kept his faint hopes alive, but Buick ultimately lost out by two – 153 to 151 – as Murphy lifted his third title.
“I think I was at Haydock on the Friday, it was nip and tuck and I needed a good day that day and I didn’t (have one) – I think I had one winner,” said Buick.
“I sort of knew then as you were relying on having a double on Champions Day, maybe a treble, and it probably wasn’t going to happen.
“It was disappointing, absolutely, but I still had a great season. I’m very fortunate to be employed by Godolphin and Charlie Appleby and have plenty of support from elsewhere, so I had plenty of reason to go out again this year and do it.”
Everyone at Godolphin sends huge congratulations to William Buick as he is crowned Champion Jockey today 🎉👏 pic.twitter.com/NqkHIICgop
— Godolphin (@godolphin) October 15, 2022
What no one knew a year ago, of course, was that Murphy would subsequently be banned for a total of 14 months. With him sidelined, in truth this year’s title race has been a formality for some time.
He was delighted to finally get over the line, saying: “Obviously it feels good, but it’s such a long process.
“I’ve been in front by a wide margin for some of the way, but not all of the way, so you just keep your head down and try your best to make it happen. You keep busy and don’t really think too much about it.
“It’s something I’ve been trying to do for a few years and it’s nice to be finally able to do it.
“Someone asked me ‘what would I tell a younger me about being a champion jockey?’. I think I’d say ‘why didn’t you pull your finger out any sooner!’. It means a lot.”
With a title now finally in the bag and one of the most coveted jobs in racing in his hands as first jockey to Charlie Appleby, Buick could quite easily take his foot off the gas and adopt a quality over quantity approach going forward.
But while he admits the punishing schedule required to be champion can take its toll, his appetite to pursue the crown again in 2023 is undiminished.
“This year, me and Tony Hind, my agent, said ‘let’s not mess around, let’s go flat out for as long as we can and see where it takes us’,” said Buick.
“I don’t know exactly how many weeks it was, but there was certainly quite a long period in the middle of the season where I worked seven days a week. Riding winners, and riding nice winners, is a massive help to the motivational side of it.
“Obviously Jane (wife) understands and we have a lot of good friends and family around us. Jane is great – she has been supportive from day one.
“I can’t sit here and say what will happen in the future, but it (chasing the title) is certainly something I enjoy and all being well, we’ll go for it again next year.”
With the Breeders’ Cup just a couple of weeks away and further huge prizes on offer abroad before the end of the year, Buick will have little time to reflect on his success – but that appears to be just how he likes it.
“There are plenty of races I haven’t won and you can never sit down and think the job’s done because it never is,” he added.
“Racing is so global you’re expected to be on call 12 months of the year, because somewhere around the world there’s always racing – high-level, world-class competitive racing.
“Over Christmas I’ll have a quiet period and some family time. I’ll have a nice family Christmas, so I’m looking forward to that and we’ll start back in Dubai in the new year.”
2023 Flat jockeys’ championship betting
2/5 William Buick
3/1 Oisin Murphy
8/1 Hollie Doyle
12/1 David Probert
16/1 Tom Marquand
20/1 Paul Mulrennan
33/1 James Doyle
View the latest horse racing odds
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication