'It's a childhood dream' - Marquand thrilled by Ballydoyle 2,000 Guineas booking
Things get better and better for rising star of the saddle Tom Marquand, who will be living out a childhood dream in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
After clinching the first Group 1 wins of his career aboard Addeybb in Australia this spring, 2015 champion apprentice Marquand has been booked by Aidan O'Brien to partner Royal Dornoch.
O'Brien has landed the Classic ten times, including in four of the last five years and while Royal Dornoch is not number one in Ballydoyle's four-strong team, he is by no means a no-hoper and priced at 33-1.
Marquand said: "It came as a bit of a surprise. It's a childhood dream. Everyone who has watched the Guineas as a young jockey will have seen Ballydoyle and Aidan O'Brien as the absolute pinnacle.
"It's pretty special to get the call to ride Royal Dornoch. He's not without a chance either. If you look back at his form he beat Kameko, who is second or third favourite, in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket last September.
"Pinatubo is a hot favourite, but I've never come across an easy Guineas. It's all about who has trained on best from two to three. To get my first ever ride for Aidan O'Brien in a 2,000 Guineas is a dream."
Royal Dornoch joins Arizona (Ryan Moore), Wichita (Frankie Dettori) and New World Tapestry (Adam Kirby) as O'Brien runners in the mile showpiece (3.35) that will be televised on ITV and Racing TV.
O'Brien has won the last three runnings of the race with Magna Grecia (2019), Saxon Warrior (2018) and Churchill (2017).
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