The absence of Sydney’s top jockeys has paved the way for emerging Englishman Tom Marquand to play a starring role at Randwick, booting home a double for the man who lured him back to Australia.
Trainer John O’Shea is an unabashed fan of the young rider and convinced him to return for a summer stint after Marquand had success during a similar venture 12 months ago.
With Sydney’s leading riders at the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions carnival, O’Shea called on Marquand to ride his two Randwick runners and he won on both.
Marquand gave Southern Lad a beautiful trail behind the speed to guide the gelding to an overdue win in the Bisley Workwear Handicap (1200m) before another near-faultless display aboard favourite Rocha Clock in the TAB Venue Mode Handicap (1600m).
“It’s great to get one up for John,” Marquand said after winning aboard Southern Lad.
“I galloped him the other day and he worked very well so I was confident he was one of my better rides today.”
He also got the best out of promising filly Rocha Clock who had been bungling the start but had no such dramas on Saturday.
“She jumped well, she was relatively straightforward today,” Marquand said.
“She did run out a bit in the straight but that was more to her changing onto the wrong leg prematurely
“She sewed the race up pretty well.”
Marquand, who has ridden three city winners during his current Sydney stint, will return to England on February 15.
He also has a booking to ride in Qatar and is hopeful of picking up mounts at next month’s $20 million Saudi Cup meeting and the Dubai World Cup carnival.
“The flat season official starts (in England) end of March but doesn’t really get going until May,” Marquand said.
“I’m due to go to Qatar and it’s up in the air between Dubai and Saudi (Arabia).”