sport

Buick draws blank in Mauritius

William Buick was out of luck as the only English jockey competing in this year's International Jockeys' weekend in Mauritius.

Although he joined the Rest of the World team of Christophe Soumillon and Mickael Barzalona, the star outfit had to settle for last place.

Soumillon had lifted a local Group Two event on Saturday, but Buick, who had been the individual champion last year, never got the opportunity to shine.

"This is my fourth year here," said Buick. "It's been great. Last year was great, because I finally rode a winner. Before that I had come out twice without riding a winner, but then last year I rode three.

"It's fantastic, I enjoy the camaraderie.

"I'm the only English guy here this year, but I get on well with the French and Mickael (Barzalona) is a good friend of mine, we live next door to each other.

"This is quite an important meeting in the sense that we all work together back home and it's all business, but here you can come and relax together a bit. We have the team thing going and it's a very healthy competition.

"And it helps you to stay fit, too, after all it's pretty hot out here!"

He added: "I had better horses last year. But it was still a lot of fun and hopefully I can win another race next time."

Barzalona said: "Naturally you always want to ride a winner as the public here are so enthusiastic and really want you to win, but it didn't happen this year for me."

The team prize went to the Southern Hemisphere trio which included Hugh Bowman, a familiar face in Britain following a spell with Mick Channon.