Having been jocked off English King just in advance of the Derby, Tom Marquand proved today that good things come to those who wait. A victory at Doncaster in the St Leger, the final Classic of the season, will be seen by many racing fans as just desserts for the talented young man.
Seen just a single time as a juvenile last season when fifth, it was a June win at the Curragh that began to put the son of Australia on the map. He would’ve been a very unlucky loser had he not scored but the gap came just in time for him to get his head in front in the dying strides.
The fifth that day happened to be Serpentine who claimed Classic glory himself with his all the way Derby romp in July. The step up to something resembling this trip saw a brutally efficient success for Galileo Chrome at Listed level at Navan but that was still some way short of Group 1 level. A huge step up in class today was taken in his stride, looking a cup performer of some promise for 2021.
A couple of Group 1 winners in Australia for William Haggas over the winter for Marquand have only furthered a career really picking up steam. 136 winners in 2019 sets a strong target to aim for in a shortened year but as 90 approaches, few would bet against him.
Marquand has proved to be a pal of punters of late, remarkably notching a level stake profit of £14.08 last season from more than 1000 rides. That is a significant achievement, his 2020 level now north of £60 after his St Leger success as the success continues to flow.
It was another stellar performance from Joseph O’Brien and his handling of the winner. Brought along with patience, allowing the horse to find his stride and fill him with confidence, he is showing the same touch that he did in his short career in the saddle.
The win of Galileo Chrome puts O’Brien in rarefied air, the first man since Harry Wragg in 1969 to win the St Leger both as a jockey and as a trainer. Already with a C.V most retiring trainers would be proud to look back on, the remarkable O’Brien clan continue to dominate the sport.
Marquand will have been disappointed in private when losing the Derby ride on English King so thoughts have to go out to Shane Crosse. A failed Covid test earlier in the week saw Crosse marooned at home, unable to partner a winner he has ridden in all his starts up to this point. At the age of eighteen, it will sting now but Crosse is another young rider with the world at his feet and will get his chance to take further glory on Galileo Chrome.