By Jon Lees
GB: Tom Marquand, who lost the ride on Investec Derby favourite English King to Frankie Dettori, has quickly picked up another mount after being booked to ride Khalifa Sat in the Epsom Classic.
Marquand rode the Andrew Balding-trained colt to victory in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last month and will be the jockey’s first Derby mount. The colt is a 33-1 chance in the betting.
“He’s a nice horse,” said Marquand. “He won a pretty good race in the Cocked Hat. He was tough that day and we know he’ll stay and he has gone round Goodwood twice which is a pretty awkward course in itself.
“It will be my first ride in the race and any ride in the Derby is good,” he went on. “At least he’s shown he is capable of winning a race and being able to stay and handle an undulating track will be a big plus.”
Khalifa Sat will line up alongside Balding-trained stablemate Kameko, the Qipco 2,000 Guineas winner, at Epsom on Saturday week.
The 22-year-old former champion apprentice Marquand has already marked 2020 by riding his first G1 winner during a successful stint in Australia and last week registered his first success at Royal Ascot.
He was expected to partner the Ed Walker-trained English King in the Classic having ridden the colt to both his career victories, including in the Lingfield Derby Trial, but was replaced when Dettori became available.
Dettori, a dual Derby winner, has vast experience at Epsom and is a close friend of English King’s owner Bjorn Nielsen, who also owns triple Gold Cup winner Stradivarius.
Marquand said: “It is one of those things. It’s happened before and it will happen again. It’s a competitive sport.”