By Jon Lees
Australia: Tom Marquand has received a warm welcome in Sydney with rides in eight out of the nine races at Randwick on Saturday, including mounts in both of the day’s G1 races.
The jockey who was dubbed ‘Aussie Tom’ during his last visit, has emerged from 14 days of quarantine in a city hotel room, following his arrival in New South Wales, to find he remains very much in demand.
“It’s a massive book of rides,” said Marquand, speaking to RacingNSW. “I’m feeling like I have to do extra well this time to make it feel worthwhile sitting in a hotel room for two weeks.”
During last year’s trip Marquand rode the first G1 victory of his career when Addeybb landed the Ranvet Stakes, one of two top-level successes in Australia among 26 winners he booted home during his stay.
On Saturday he will partner La Mexicana, one of the leading contenders for the G1 Surround Stakes after winning a G3 last time out for trainers for Anthony and Sam Freedman. Marquand will also ride outsider Prince Fawaz for Anthony Cummings in the day’s feature, the Chipping Norton Stakes.
He also rides the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Captivant in the G2 Skyline Stakes, having agreed to partner the two-year-old in next month’s Golden Slipper.
The Chipping Norton features the latest appearance of Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant – beaten by Addeybb when the pair clashed in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a race likely to feature on both horses’ schedules in April.
Addeybb is set to head to Australia this weekend with trainer William Haggas confirming that his stable star will catch a flight on Sunday morning alongside stablemate Favorite Moon. They are due to arrive at Canterbury Quarantine Centre on Monday.
“He’s got the reputation of a world class Group 1 horse now,’’ Marquand said. “He came here as a horse that couldn’t win a Group 1 last year and took out two major Group 1s in Australia and went home and won one of the key Group 1s in the English season.”
He continued: “A lot of people underestimate how much went into getting him here last year, and to have him in the shape to win two Group 1s is ridiculous.
“They made it look easy but it’s not as straightforward as people are led to believe. Everyone’s saying all you have to do is turn up in the same form and he’ll win those two Group 1s.
“Try travelling a horse half way across the world, the stars have to align. It’s a big tough process.”
• View Tom Marquand’s Randwick rides on the RacingNSW website