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Australian jockeys call for tougher rules to limit overseas riders

Tom Marquand: enjoyed an excellent spell in Australia earlier this year
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Jockeys in Australia have requested to regulators in New South Wales to make it harder for overseas riders to be given licences to ride in the state, creating a strict criteria as part of a proposal to the body.

The jockeys' criteria proposes that only riders who have won a Group 1, two Group 2 races or three Group 3s in the last 12 months should be given temporary licences. 

Earlier this year, Tom Marquand boosted his career with a first and second success at the top level on Addeybb. But if the proposal had been in place, he would not have been permitted to ride the William Haggas-trained ace to win the Ranvet or Queen Elizabeth Stakes. 

Marquand scooped A$4.4 million (£2.44m/€2.70m) in prize-money during his stint in Australia but the local jockeys believe the sport's regulators should make it easier for domestic young riders to be given higher-level opportunities at tracks such as Rosehill or Randwick.

Addeybb: scoring in great style under Tom Marquand at Randwick

A proposal, obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, read: "With 200 jockeys and apprentices currently licensed, they state that there is no shortage of riders.

"The association states that some visiting jockeys will stay for a few months and reap the rewards of the high levels of prize-money and conditions in our state but, in reality, only the high-profile riders bring promotion to our industry.

"They take back with them fees and prize-money that could be earned by our NSW jockeys, some of whom leave the industry early due to reduced opportunities.

"The association has no issue with international riders coming to NSW for major races and carnivals, but recommends criteria be introduced for other times as is the case in many other racing countries."

Racing NSW are currently consulting over the proposal.

Marquand said: "When I was over there I was very well received and looked after.

"I hope this won't stop other people from enjoying a similar experience in the future."

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The association states that some visiting jockeys will stay for a few months and reap the rewards of the high levels of prize-money
E.W. Terms