William Buick treble sets up Flat jockeys’ title race for dramatic finish as gap closes on Oisin Murphy

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Racing’s Flat jockeys’ championship is set up for a grandstand finish after William Buick’s treble on Tuesday moved him within four of leader Oisin Murphy.

Murphy is looking to defend the title he won for the second year in a row last season, but Buick’s pursuit of a maiden crown has new life in the run-up to Saturday’s QIPCO British Champions Day finale at Ascot after a hat-trick at Leicester.

On Monday, the 33-year-old’s hopes looked to be fading after three of his intended eight rides at Wolverhampton were withdrawn before the start, with another three going on to finish second before Murphy extended his advantage to six with an evening winner at Kempton.

However, Tuesday’s wins on Yukon Star and Kentucky Kitten either side of Murphy’s success on Able Kane saw Buick close the gap to five before he managed to turnover his rival’s odds-on favourite, Future King, to win the last race of the day on Rhythm N Rock and further reduce the deficit.

The pair will go head-to-head again at Nottingham on Wednesday, where Buick, now on 146 winners, is booked for eight rides, several of them well-fancied, while Murphy, top on 150, has six.

Murphy’s end to the campaign has been overshadowed by a failed breathalyser test at Newmarket last Friday, which saw him stepped down and brought a public apology, before he returned to win the prestigious Casarewith Handicap with Buzz at the same track 24 hours later.

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