Tom Marquand strikes again in Australia with Group race double at Rosehill

Sat 28 Mar 2020

Tom Marquand continued his golden spell in Australia by registering a Group race double at Rosehill on Saturday.

The rider broke new ground when winning his first Group One at the track last week and while he was out of luck in the feature Tancred Stakes, he still won two decent events.

Partnering the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt Holyfield in the Group Three Schweppervescence, Marquand took a prominent position on the inside rail and despite swinging a bit wide into the finishing straight, Holyfield held off Untamed by three-quarters of a length.

Marquand told Sky Racing: “He’s obviously a horse with plenty of ability. He got a bit worked up in the preliminaries, but he’s put in some decent performances in his last few runs and I was always confident I had a good draw to make it work how I wanted it to.

“To be fair, everything fell perfectly and as soon as the other horse joined him at the last 200 or 250 metres, he battled on all the way to the line.”

Provided racing is continuing, the Champagne Stakes scheduled for Randwick on April 18 is the target.

Annabel Neasham, who runs the Maher/Eustace stable at Warwick Farm, told “If we’re still racing, we’ll press on to the Champagne.”

Of Marquand, she added: “We’ll never want him to go home. Hopefully he’s stuck here for a while.”

The rider completed his double aboard Vegadaze in the E-Group Security Star Kingdom Stakes.

Trained by Anthony Cummings, Vegadaze looked set for place honours racing into the final furlong and a half, but he found a bit extra for Marquand in the dying strides to grab victory by a head.

Marquand had Verry Elleegant back in second when winning on Addeybb last week, but Chris Waller’s mare made a quick turnaround pay as she lifted the Group One Kia Tancred Stakes.

The four-year-old registered an impressive four-and-a-quarter-length win over last year’s Ebor hero Mustajeer, who is now trained in Australia.

“The Caulfield Cup would be high on our radar and even a Melbourne Cup,” Waller said.

“Let’s hope we get weighted as well as some of the other horses from around the world and they keep giving the Australian horses a chance. She’ll be there and she’ll be one of them.”

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