A graduate of the British Racing School, Tom Marquand became apprenticed to Richard Hannon in 2014 at the age of 16. He rode his first winner, Mecado, in a lowly selling stakes race at Kempton in December that year. In his first full season, 2015, much to the delight of horse racing betting fans, he rode 67 winners and won the apprentice jockeys’ championship. In 2016, he rode a further 63 winners, thereby riding out his claim and, during the winter, enjoyed a brief, but successful, spell with Australian trainer David Hayes.
In 2017, increased his winning tally to 86, including his first Group winner, Anna Nerium, in the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury. In his next three seasons, Marquand rode 105, 136 and 147 winners, finishing fourth in the Flat jockeys’ championship in 2019 and third in 2020.
In early 2020, he returned to Australia, joining Sydney trainer John O’Shea, for whom he won both the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Addeybb, thereby recording his first Group 1 successes.
It’s no surprise really that he was drawn to Australian racing and experienced his first Group 1 success there, with its reputation for both top class Group 1 and feature races. This month alone, we have the likes of the Cox Plate and the Victoria Derby to look forward to. Held at Moonee Valley, Melbourne the Cox Plate is a 2040 meter race steeped in history – its origins can be traced back to 1920. Prize money for the race is a staggering $5,000,000 AUD and this year it will be held on 23rd October. Current favourite to win is the Sir Michael Stoute trained and owned Zaaki at 2/1 (despite his current shock defeat coming third to Probabeel and Nonconformist at Caulfield). Racing fans will no doubt be using the best betting apps in Australia to place their wagers on this much anticipated race.
The Victoria Derby, held a week later on 30th October, is a group one race held at Flemington racecourse with still impressive prize money of $2,000,000 AUD. Dating back to 1855 (yes you heard that right!) last years winner was Johnny Get Angry.
Both events really though can be considered somewhat secondary to the Melbourne Cup which is held early in the following month. Even in these covid times, such is the excitement and anticipation of the events that it is due to have an attendance of 10,000 as part of Australia’s re-opening plan. The Melbourne Cup, held at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, and first held in 1861 is known as the richest two miler handicap in the world and has prize money of a very weighty $8,000,000 AUD. Those in the running to win this years race (Held on 2nd November) include the Peter Moody trained Incentivize and Spanish Mission.
Outside of Australian racing, Marquand rode his first Group 1 winner on home soil, Galileo Chrome, in the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster that September, having picked up a ‘spare’ ride after original jockey Shane Crosse tested positive for Covid-19. On New Year’s Eve, 2020, Marquand announced his engagement to fellow jockey Hollie Doyle, whom he originally met at pony camp ten years previously.