Tom Marquand: has a favourite's chance on first ride in AustraliaPICTURE: RP GRAPHICS
Tom Marquand set for first ride in Australia
CHAMPION apprentice Tom Marquand kicks off his one-month stint in Victoria on Saturday when partnering the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Tashbeeh at Caulfield on his first ride in Australia.
Marquand, who rode 54 winners in the Stobart Apprentice Jockeys Championship season to beat Jack Garritty to the title, arrived in Melbourne on Thursday morning and partners Tashbeeh in the $80,000 Swettenham Stud Summer Championship Heat 7 at the weekend.
The 17-year-old will be riding for Hayes and Dabernig throughout his month in Australia, splitting his time between their two yards in Euroa and Flemington.
'Plenty of tips'
Marquand, who last week was selected to be part of a new jockey mentorship scheme founded by the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies, feels he has a great chance of securing a winner on his inaugural ride, and revealed he has sought the advice of Oisin Murphy and Kieran Shoemark, who have both ridden in Australia before.
The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee said: "Tasbeeh looks to have a brilliant chance and it's a big thrill to have been given such a great opportunity by David Hayes and Tom Dabernig to ride for Sheikh Hamdan.
"I've spoken with Oisin Murphy who was very successful out here and he's taken it home and has ridden a lot of winners and Kieran Shoemark who is out here at the moment and they've both been helping me and giving me plenty of tips.
"I've never been to Australia before and that's why I thought it would be a brilliant idea to come here and learn something new."
'Very different style'
A sensation of the Flat season last year, Marquand is hopeful a stint in Australia will further improve his race riding ahead of an important campaign in Britain.
Speaking to Racing.com, Marquand said: "Obviously riding in the UK is very different to Australia and I think it should stand me in good stead.
"It's a very different style of racing to in England and the tracks are obviously very different so it should be interesting.
"I think being a good rider is all about different experiences on different tracks, in different countries and different styles of racing which can only stand you in good stead for the future."