Marquand’s Mission To Repay Godolphin With Oaks Success

Godolphin has been one of Tom Marquand’s biggest supporters through his latest trip to Sydney and he’d love to repay them with a Group 1 win at Randwick on Saturday.

Jockey Tom Marquand (Pic: Bradley Photos).

The popular UK jockey returns home after Day 2 of The Star Championships and while things haven’t gone to plan with William Haggas’ team vastly reduced he said if he can snare the Group 1 $1 million The Star Australian Oaks (2400m) with Zardozi it’d be a nice wrap for the working visit.

And he’ll notch a milestone with his first ride on Saturday being his 9000th career ride.

“Very rarely do things work out as dreamy as they can look on paper but it’s been a good trip,’’ he said.

“It’s overly ambitious to think I’m going to win a Queen Elizabeth every time I come here.

“Finding a Group 2 winner for Godolphin was a big deal, Post Impressionist in the Manion Cup was great. Sadly it didn’t go further and turn into a Group 1.

“Godolphin are one of the big global teams and to be part of that is fantastic. It’s a pleasure working with people like James (Cummings) and Darren Beadman, and Dizzy Appleby.

“It makes life and racing fun and interesting, they’re great people who are very good at their jobs.

“They have good horses to ride and as a jockey travelling around the world that’s what you want to be doing.”

Marquand will get a chance to win a fourth Queen Elizabeth Stakes as he picked up the ride on Ceolwulf in the Group 1 feature.

He has been on board Zardozi, $4.40 with TAB on Friday, all autumn and is banking on the staying trip being in her favour after she was outsprinted in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) third-up.

It was a race that changed complexion quickly when Nash Rawiller took off on Tutta La Vita before the home turn and Marquand said while Zardozi peaked inside the 200m he was pleased with her effort to run third to her Oaks rival Orchestral.

“It turned it into a race of gears more than anything, with Zardozi being proven at 2400m it made life a bit tricky,’’ he said.

“We got the dream trip around but if we could change anything it would be that midrace tempo.

“If it hadn’t have happened we might have been done for speed even more so. If the race hadn’t been blown open with 500m to go it would have changed the dynamic a bit, for better or worse it remains to be seen.

“But she ran nicely and I’m looking forward to being on her back at 2400m on ground that’s going to have the sting out of it more than at Rosehill.”

The barriers haven’t helped Marquand’s cause on Corniche in the Group 2 $1 million Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) but he’s hoping with a natural leader like Red Resistance drawn nearby it will help him offset a wide alley.

The colt has been placed in both starts this autumn and Marquand feels he can be competitive if he does get the breaks.

“Knowing you’ve got one out there that’s hopefully going to take the race in your direction helps a bit but he’s a horse in good form and has been running well,’’ he said.

Globetrotting now Kiwi stayer Mahrajaan is Marquand’s ride in the Group 1 $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), with the jockey quipping “he’s got more air miles than me”.

The gelding was bred in the USA, educated in Dubai, raced in the UK before being sent to New Zealand and now turns up in Australia.

He’s twice a winner at the two miles, in the New Zealand Cup and last start in the Auckland Cup, and Marquand said he can see the horse being competitive.

“I’m looking forward to him, I jumped on him on Thursday and he felt great,’’ he said.

“He’s straightforward and stays well, those Kiwi horses are strong when they come over.”

– Racing NSW

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