Retained by Godolphin, jockey William Buick was celebrating a big winner in Japan on Sunday having steered Stelvio to success in the Grade 1 Mile Championship at Kyoto. Stelvio had been well beaten in the Japanese Derby in May but showed that he is more effective over a mile as he produced a telling burst to hit the front inside the final half furlong before digging deep to repel the challenge of last year’s winner Persian Knight. Buick said: “It’s my first Grade One win in Japan and this race is obviously one of the world’s biggest mile races so it’s very special for me. “The horse was in great condition and when I saw he was drawn one I thought if I could make use of it and get a good position he had a chance. “He had a good finishing kick.
He won like a class horse and hopefully this is the beginning of his Grade One career.” Victory on Stelvio continues a stellar 2018 for Buick, who memorably won the Derby on Masar, struck in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot aboard Blue Point and earlier this month won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Line Of Duty. Stelvio is trained by Tetsuya Kimura and carries the colours of Sunday Racing, silks which are familiar around the world through the exploits of Orfevre and Gentildonna.