Beating one of Australia’s champion jockeys in a race at Flemington is a highlight top English apprentice Tom Marquand will take away from his first trip to Australia.
Marquand, last season’s champion British apprentice, heads back home on Friday after spending four weeks in Victoria where he was based with the Lindsay Park team of trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
He had two wins from just nine rides, both on Tashbeeh.
Marquand won on Tashbeeh at Caulfield on January 9 and again on Saturday when he survived a protest from Second Bullet’s rider Damien Oliver who alleged interference at the top of the straight.
“Both of the wins were fantastic,” Marquand said.
“I think Flemington was the better one, beating Damien Oliver by about a nose. Then I was a bit worried when I came back in and they said there was a stewards’ inquiry, but to beat someone like that in a tight finish is a great buzz. And to get the chance to get back on Tashbeeh in a race at Flemington was brilliant.”
Marquand was limited in the amount of rides he could accept with his master Richard Hannon keen to protect his claim for the upcoming English Flat season.
The 17-year-old said the experience was something he would like to repeat.
“It works out quite nicely with the time of year,” he said.
“Our main racing starts in early March so it’s a good time of year to come over here, but also it’s a good time of year to not be at home with the weather.
“Next year I probably won’t have a claim so that could make things a bit easier if I did come back.”
Dabernig said Marquand was a pleasure to have around and they would be happy to have him back.
“He’s a talented up-and-coming rider and I think we’ll probably hear a lot more of him,” he said.
“I’m sure he’ll outride his claim pretty quickly in the UK based on what I’ve seen of him.”