By Jon Lees
GB: Tom Marquand is scheduled to depart Britain on Monday for on a nine-week stay in Sydney where he hopes to be joined by Champion Stakes winner Addeybb – barring a late flight cancellation.
The 22-year-old’s stock has never been higher, both in New South Wales and at home, after he used last year’s trip to record his first G1 win on Addeybb in the Ranvet Stakes and later clinched his first Classic success in Britain in the St Leger on Galileo Chrome.
As a welcome, the jockey who became known as ‘Aussie Tom’ will have to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine under Australia’s strict Covid-19 entry rules. But if his visit proves as successful as his last, when he rode 26 winners for more than A$4.4m (£2.45m) in prize-money, it will be a small hardship.
“I am lucky in the fact I am going to hopefully ride some nice Australian horses down there anyway and the fact that Addeybb and, by the sound of it, Favorite Moon are going to go, all being well, it will make the trip not dissimilar to last year,” said Marquand.
Last year Marquand rode Group and Listed winners for some of Australia’s biggest training operations, namely the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace partnership, Anthony Cummings and Richard and Michael Freedman.
The Haggas duo Addeybb and Young Rascal applied the icing on the cake with Addeybb winning the Ranvet and G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes while Young Rascal took a G3 prize. Addeybb and Marquand bookended 2020 by winning the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
“As much as Addeybb flew the flag last year, it was a good stay all round,” said Marquand. “I went the first time for John O’Shea but when I go now I’m very lucky that people pick me up and use me straight away. I will be trying to get on as many horses for as many different people as I possibly can.”
Addeybb’s trip is dependent on trainer William Haggas securing flights for stable staff to Sydney, where he will contest the same two G1 races, keeping Marquand in New South Wales until April 10.
“He is a force to be reckoned with on the right ground,” said Marquand. “And even on ground that’s not 100 per cent ideal, he is still a force to be reckoned with.
“When he won his first G1, although it was down as slow ground, it was probably more good than anything else. He showed how good he was last year and hopefully he can go back, turn up in the same form, and do the same again.”
His two weeks of hotel quarantine is non-negotiable but fitness fanatic Marquand has made provisions to fill some of the time.
“That will be a bit painful, but hopefully it will be worth it,” he added. “You don’t get to choose where you stay – I think it’s a box room, it won’t be glamorous!
“I have found a company that rents bikes and turbo trainers and things like that. I will get one of those and bust a few hours of boredom each day on that.”