It’s no secret that the quality of young jockeys at the moment in the UK and Ireland is high. It isn’t easy to make the breakthrough in the senior riding ranks once a claim is lost but Tom Marquand and Cieren Fallon have led the way. Both are chasing Guineas glory at Newmarket this weekend.
2000 Guineas – Tom Marquand – Royal Dornoch
Fresh from a stint in Australia, Marquand returns for his first ride for Aidan O’Brien. He had a ride in this race last year, finishing eighth on 33/1 shot, Urban Icon, for Richard Hannon. Royal Dornoch is his mount in 2020, another priced at 33/1.
He was the winner of the Royal Lodge over this course and distance in September. Behind him that day was subsequent Vertem Futurity Trophy winner, Kameko. That re-opposing rival is only 7/1 so there is a case to be made for arguing Marquand’s horse is overpriced.
He picked up the first two Group 1 winners of his career on a recent stint to Australia so confidence will be high. It is surely only a matter of time before Marquand makes the same breakthrough in the UK.
1000 Guineas – Cieren Fallon – Les Hogues
A first ride in the Guineas for Cieren Fallon, following in the footsteps of his father who won this race four times. They are big boots to fill but he already has a champion apprentice title to his name and promises more to come.
He gets the leg up on Les Hogues on Sunday, making her first start for George Baker. She is currently a 25/1 chance, trying a mile for the first time. Her final start in France saw her a neck second to Dream And Do. That filly won the French 1000 Guineas on Monday to give that form a timely boost.
She cost connections 200,000 euros at the sales last October, money that could look well spent come the end of the summer. To win a Classic at the first attempt would be a fairytale for any jockey. It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if their surname happened to be Fallon, however!