By Nicholas Godfrey
Australia: Tom Marquand, who won so many admirers in Sydney earlier this year, returns to Australia this weekend ready for another four-week stint covering the premier autumn meetings at Rosehill and Randwick.
With 17 winners, Marquand enjoyed a highly successful six weeks in Sydney over the summer. The highlight came with last month’s G3 double aboard Prague and stablemate Away Game at Randwick before the rider landed the richest success of his career on Prime Star in the Inglis Millennium, a A$2 million (£1.04m) sales race at Warwick Farm.
He continued the good work back in Britain, with 12 winners in the last fortnight before flying back to Australia for five rides on Saturday’s card at Rosehill.
Marquand, 21, renews his association with Prague in the G3 Pago Pago Stakes, which the colt needs to win to earn a ballot-exempt place in the Golden Slipper seven days later. Stablemate Away Game and two others from the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace partnership already have a guaranteed spot in the world’s richest two-year-old race.
Marquand’s rides on Saturday are headed by Spanish Whisper for the Hayes and Dabernig team in the A$600,000 (£302,000) Coolmore Classic, a G1 for fillies and mares over 1,500 metres (7½f).
The feature race in Australia on Saturday takes place in Melbourne, however, with the second running of the $5m (£2.55m) All-Star Mile at Caulfield.
Following a Japanese blueprint, the majority of the 15-runner field is determined by a public vote. Star three-year-old Alligator Blood is hot favourite from star mare Melody Belle and Epsom Handicap winner Kolding.
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