Marquand & Haggas Out To Leave An Impression On Manion Cup

He’s not the headline horse that William Haggas usually brings to Sydney but Post Impressionist has shown jockey Tom Marquand enough to suggest he can give the UK trainer a third win in the Group 3 $250,000 Precise Air NE Manion Cup (2400m).

Jockey Tom Marquand (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Marquand partnered with Haggas to win the race in 2020 with Young Rascal, and the trainer backed it up a year later winning with Favorite Moon.

Post Impressionist is Haggas’ sole Sydney runner this autumn and Marquand is happy to trust the trainer’s judgment when he rides the gelding at Rosehill on Saturday.

“William has got a pretty good gauge on what to bring now and this horse obviously fits the profile of what he looks for,’’ Marquand said.

“He seems to have taken the travel well, you never fully know until you dig into them and ask them to scrape down into the barrel for you but he’s done everything you’d like.”

The five-year-old, a winner of three from 13, was $3.10 favourite with TAB on Thursday though whether that’s out of respect for Haggas or the horse’s form is unclear.

He finished just better than midfield in the Ebor at York, one of the UK’s biggest handicap staying events, before a win that impressed Marquand over 2816m at Haydock on September 9.

“His most flash showing would have been his last run at Haydock where he was impressive but he’s proven to be a progressive type,’’ he said.

“He was over a mile six at Haydock and picked up the field quickly so it was a big performance.

“Everything came together that day and it felt like he started to show really what was in the tank.”

Marquand expects the ground to be ideal for Post Impressionist on Saturday, his only failures have come on a synthetic track and on one that the jockey described as “pretty much unraceable”.

From the outside barrier he said he’s going to let the race unfold naturally for the horse.

“He showed his best run when he sat last in a big field but he seems pretty versatile,’’ he said.

“I’m sure there’ll be no instructions as to what to do, just see how he comes out and get him in a rhythm and take him from there.”

Post Impressionist is on the second line of betting for the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at $8 where he has 50kg, which rules Marquand out of riding him.

Café Millennium is Marquand’s big chance of a Group 1 win this weekend as he partners the colt for the second time in the $750,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m).

It’s the first time the John O’Shea trained three-year-old has stretched beyond a mile and the jockey is hoping that’s the difference after a close call when third behind Celestial Legend and Militarize, neither of which oppose him this week, in the Randwick Guineas.

At the 300m I sort of called him the winner, I was warming up to the front pair and it felt like he was really going to find the line and he last 50 yards he stopped making the ground,’’ Marquand said.

“I think at 2000m it’s going to give him a bit more time to get level and find his feet, hopefully we get a clean run around and he can finish off what he looked like he was going to do the other day.”

– Racing NSW

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