Godolphin have signalled their intent for 2015 by recruiting William Buick and James Doyle to ride as joint No 1 jockeys.
Buick will be first jockey to Charlie Appleby and Doyle will be retained as first choice for Saeed bin Suroor. Buick leaves his long-standing position as stable jockey to John Gosden, while Doyle moves at the end of his deal as retained rider to owner Khalid Abdullah, for whom he has shone on Kingman and Noble Mission this season.
The new contracts will not come into effect until both jockeys have fulfilled their contractual obligations to their present employers. The jockeys will interlink with each yard and form crossover cover when commitments allow. They will ride Godolphin horses in the UK trained by Gosden and other trainers.
Horses that have raced for Gosden in the colours of Princess Haya of Jordan will now be in the royal blue of Godolphin “as an extension of the global branding of the organisation”.
Both jockeys will also ride horses for Godolphin that are stabled in Ireland, France, America, Australia and Japan when required. Their first contractual role to Godolphin will be to ride for their respective yards throughout the Dubai Carnival in 2015.
Mickael Barzalona will continue to ride for Godolphin in France, but Silvestre de Sousa – who started the year winning the Dubai World Cup on the Bin Suroor-trained African Story – has not had his contract renewed.
Buick’s association with Gosden started in the perfect way when Dar Re Mi won the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2010.
The pair have perhaps been most famed for their partnership with star filly The Fugue and Nathaniel, winner of the King George in 2011 and the Coral-Eclipse the following year. The Fugue won three Group Ones under Buick, also finishing third in the Oaks and twice going close to glory at the Breeders’ Cup, while she was second in Hong Kong.
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Buick and Gosden teamed up for two St Legers at Doncaster with Arctic Cosmos (2010) and Masked Marvel (2011).
Buick said: “I have been very fortunate to have been employed by John Gosden since I completed my apprenticeship and without his faith and wise counsel I would not be in the position that I am in today to take what is, in my opinion, the most coveted position in world racing.
“John has shown me great loyalty and given me access to Classic winners and success on a world stage. No jockey has had a better mentor. Now I am looking forward to sharing the Godolphin riding arrangements with my very good friend James.
“Both of us have had to make hard decisions but no one has made a commitment to world racing like Sheikh Mohammed and it is an honour for both of us to be invited to be a part of his team.”
Doyle finished second in the 2000 Guineas on Kingman, who ruled supreme afterwards before missing his intended swansong on British Champions Day following a throat infection.
Doyle still played a leading role at Ascot, however, getting Lady Cecil’s Noble Mission home in the Champion Stakes for an emotionally charged success. He said: “I have had a wonderful season riding for Juddmonte and Prince Khalid during which I was fortunate to ride the best horse of my career so far in Kingman. Noble Mission was another great racehorse produced by Juddmonte that helped bring my career forward.
“I shall always be eternally grateful for that one-year contract which leaves me with great memories. Now I look forward to sharing riding duties with William at Godolphin and continue to achieve great things in the world of horse racing.”
John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser, said: “Sheikh Mohammed has always respected both William and James and when their availability was confirmed at the end of this season he was keen to secure their services for the future.”
Appleby said: “I honestly could not be happier because I will now be able to use two of the best jockeys in the world. William has global experience at the highest level and worked very closely with me this season. We have already had group one success with Charming Thought in the Middle Park and having James to call on as well is a massive bonus.”
Bin Suroor added: “James has ridden Group horses for me this year and has proved himself on a world stage and I will also have access to William which is terrific.”
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