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Image: Steve Hart
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace are banking on Tom Marquand's magic touch to help qualify Prague for the Golden Slipper

Jockey Tom Marquand has been a golden boy for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and the co-trainers are banking on his magic touch to help qualify Prague for the Golden Slipper.

The UK-based Marquand enjoyed a successful summer stint in Sydney, landing a winning double for the stable aboard Away Game and Prague at Randwick last month before returning to England.

He is back in town on Saturday to reunite with Prague in the Pago Pago Stakes (1200m), the colt needing a win to join stablemates Away Game, Muntaseera and A Beautiful Night in the Slipper field.

The trainers have also booked Marquand for Dottie Dee in the Magic Night Stakes (1200m), although the filly is not entered for the 2020 Golden Slipper.

Marquand will stick around to ride for Maher and Eustace in Saturday week’s $3.5 million Golden Slipper, which has already been the subject of some jockey movements.

Kerrin McEvoy was expected to ride one of Peter and Paul Snowden’s youngsters but has instead been confirmed for the Anthony Freedman-trained Hanseatic.

Tim Clark goes onto the Snowdens’ leading Slipper hope Dame Giselle while stablemates Aim and Argenteus (Pago Pago) and Stellar Pauline and Sancy (Magic Night) get last ditch chances to join her and Black Opal Stakes winner Barbaric in the race.

Hanseatic arrived in Sydney at the weekend and will have a barrier trial at Randwick on Thursday.

His only defeat came at the hands of Tagaloa in the Blue Diamond Stakes and that horse showed the Victorian form was up to the mark with a strong second to Slipper favourite Farnan in the Todman Stakes.

Freedman’s racing manager Brad Taylor said Hanseatic had come through the Blue Diamond in good order and was following a similar template to Lyre.

Lyre won last year’s Blue Diamond for Freedman and finished third in the Slipper at her Sydney debut with a barrier trial in between.

“It was always in the back of our mind to bring him up for the Slipper and have the month between runs after having three runs two weeks apart,” Taylor said.

“It is very similar to Lyre last year and she ran very well in the Slipper.

“It looks a good year for the Victorians to make their mark in Sydney.”

Hanseatic is on the third line of Slipper betting at $7, behind Farnan ($5) and Tagaloa ($6).

Blue Diamond third placegetter Personal, a $21 Slipper chance, is also scheduled to trial at Randwick for the Hayes and Dabernig yard.

The Golden Slipper (1200m) is at Rosehill on Saturday week.

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
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