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Buick handed big ride on African Story

Dubai: Jockey William Buick has picked up the plumb ride on Dubai World Cup hopeful African Story following a decision by the ERA Stewards to uphold a ban on Godolphin jockey Silvestre de Souza.

The Brazilian was handed a two-day suspension after being found guilty of careless riding under the provisions of ERA Rule 69 (i) at a Carnival race meeting on February 7.

De Sousa was charged with causing interference to Merhee, 100m from the finishing post, causing the horse’s rider Christophe Soumillon to check his mount.

In assessing the penalty Stewards took into account De Sousa’s good careless riding record but banned him from riding on March 8 (Meydan) and March 9 (Abu Dhabi).

The Brazilian subsequently lodged an appeal which was rejected by the ERA Appeals Board on Thursday, ruling him out of the Super Saturday meeting, where he was scheduled to ride in seven of the day’s eight races.

Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Surour revealed that as a result of the ban on William Buick, stable jockey Mickael Barzalona and Kieren Fallon will come in for the spare rides.

“William Buick will ride African Story in the Al Maktoum Challenge and Songcraft in the Dubai City of Gold,” he said. “Mickael Barzalona rides Emirates Flyer in the Al Bastaikya and Shuruq in the Burj Nahar.

“Kieren Fallon has been called up to ride three other horses — Complicate, Excellent Result and Prince Bishop.”

Bin Surour said Emirati jockey Ahmad Ajtebi will partner Quick Wit.

“The good thing is the Silvestre will be available to ride at the Dubai World Cup meeting after sitting out the two-day ban,” said Bin Surour.