Prince of Wales's Stakes: Tom Marquand bids to extend Group 1 streak on Addeybb
Prince of Wales's Stakes (Group 1) | 1m2f | 4yo+ | ITV/SKY
They beat the lockdown and conquered Australia. Now Tom Marquand reunites with Addeybb to try to break new ground on home soil.
Should the pair manage to replicate their two Group 1 Sydney successes in the spring in the Prince of Wales's Stakes, it would send a jockey already on an upward trajectory into orbit.
"Addeybb is always going to have a special place in my heart and it would be incredible if it came off," Marquand said. "Everyone needs that one horse to raise you to the next level and he's definitely been the horse to do that."
As well as gaining a first domestic Group 1, the 2015 champion apprentice is hoping to break his Royal Ascot duck. Addeybb, on the other hand, has a royal meeting victory to his name after an impressive win in last year's Wolferton Stakes on his favoured soft ground.
"I'm looking forward to getting back on him and praying the forecast rain arrives," the jockey said. "Japan is an exceptional horse and it's by no means an easy task as with any Royal Ascot Group 1, but he goes into the race off two Group 1 wins and is the horse to have the most recent runs. He's travelled back great and everything points to a big effort."
Not everything quite went to plan in Australia for Marquand as he was fined for breaking social distancing rules after embracing Addeybb's groom Safid Alam following the win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
"It was one of those things and it's amazing what emotion can do and make you forget," he added. "Hopefully at Ascot we'll be in the position where I want to hug someone."
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy gives his verdict on the Prince of Wales's Stakes
I don't have a ride in the Prince of Wales's Stakes this year but if I had the pick I'd want to be on Japan. I rode against him a few times last year and didn't see which way he went.
His run to finish fourth behind Waldgeist and Enable in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe was an outstanding effort for a three-year-old and he looks a very exciting colt for Ballydoyle for the future.
We know he handles the track having won the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot a year ago and this looks a great starting point for the year for him.
His best win to date came over this sort of trip when he defeated Crystal Ocean in the Juddmonte International at York, which rode like a high class race as it always is.
He'll need to be on top of his game with some race-fit rivals in there, including Barney Roy, who is another who likes Ascot. But I can't see past Japan and he deserves his place at the head of the market.
What they say
William Haggas, trainer of Addeybb
He needs soft ground, so I'd like more rain for him. His best ground is when there's an inspection and it passes. He'll run providing it's not fast ground, which is looking unlikely, but his chance will be increased the more it rains. He did great in Australia and is a fantastic horse.
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Barney Roy
I feel confident he's back to his best and, as a past winner at the royal meeting, he has a lot of class. He steps back up to a mile and a quarter after two wins in Dubai during the winter, when he really strengthened as an individual. I'm confident about him over the distance. He was second in the Eclipse and third in the Juddmonte as a three-year-old. I think he'll run a cracking race. This is well within his compass.
Roger Charlton, trainer of Headman
We've been pleased with him. He looks progressive, he's big and strong and should be better at four. He needs to improve four or five lengths, particularly against horses of Japan's calibre. It's a good place to start him off and I hope he'll improve as the season goes on.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Japan
We're happy with him. Ideally we'd have liked to have given him a run before this but he seems to be in good form. Things were a little bit tight with him at the beginning of last season and we only just got him to the Derby on time, but we've been very happy with him during the winter and right through the spring this year. So far everything has gone very well with him.
John Gosden, trainer of Lord North and Mehdaayih
Lord North won well the other day at Haydock and deserves a crack at this level. Mehdaayih had a good season last year, winning a Group 2 in France and then doing well to finish second in the Nassau considering they went flat out from the start. We then took her back to France, where she was unsuited by the heavy ground, before running respectably in the Champion Stakes. She's in good shape but we're taking on the boys as there are so few fillies' races at a mile and a quarter just now.
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