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Monday Musings: Tom and Hollie’s Top Class Show

Many famous men through history have had to accept second place in their relationships with their even more well-known better halves, writes Tony Stafford. Their own celebrity was undoubtedly the reason they first came to the attention of their future partners, none more so than Joe Di Maggio, America’s supreme baseball star of the 1950’s, who had to grow accustomed, once hitched, to being referred to as Mr Marilyn Monroe.

Joe clearly accepted that slight (as it was in those unenlightened days) on his manhood, for why else would he have continued to support the troubled platinum blonde film star through the various subsequent alliances and scandals that stretched all the way to a President of the United States? For Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels, read John F Kennedy and Marilyn, illicit alliances half a century apart.

While entertainment and sport stars have occasionally got together, rarely has it been on such an equal basis as Mr and Mrs Hollie Doyle. Sorry, not quite yet, as although the wonderful Hollie and the equally admirable Tom Marquand are no married couple, they do live together in Hungerford. After Saturday’s exploits where the 20-some pair – Tom is the younger by two years – monopolised Champions Day at Ascot to the tune of four wins, so 67% of the six races, Tom hinted that marriage might be on the horizon.

Halfway through Saturday’s card, the various television outlets were in full Hollie mode. She won the first two races on Trueshan (by miles in the Stayers) and thrillingly by a nose on Glen Shiel (Sprint) before finishing a creditable second on Dame Malliot behind the highly-talented Wonderful Tonight, trained by David Menuisier in the fillies’ and mares’ race. Had the finishing order been reversed you could have imagined Frankie Dettori, already tailed off on Stradivarius in the opener and destined to share in Palace Pier’s first career defeat later on, wondering what was going on. Ascot’s supposed to be his private venue, but sorry Frankie, even Peter Pan had to grow old one day.

As it turned out, Glen Shiel was her final win, but after a brief break in the changing room while Palace Pier was struggling into third behind The Revenant in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, she picked up lesser cheques, for sixth in the Champion Stakes on Extra Elusive for her new boss Imad Sagar, and another second on Sir Michael Stoute’s Solid Stone in the Balmoral Handicap which closed the show.

I’m not sure whether the Marquand/Doyle team pools its earnings. By all accounts they usually sit down to relax after their respective long days, maybe playing a game of cards, watching telly or maybe even examining closely the relative quality of their performances.

At times one or other might be in the ascendant, as Hollie clearly was in the first half of Saturday when the total earnings of her two wins and three minor places added up to a whopping £495,000. Modesty precludes me from checking just what the precise share of that will go to the jockey, but somewhere around seven per cent might not be far wide of the mark.

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So Hollie could rightfully say as they shuffled the cards: “Here’s my Group 2 and Group 1, can you match that?”. Well, fortunately, late-starting Tom could indeed counter. “Yes Hollie, here’s my 62 grand for the Balmoral Handicap on Njord, but my Group 1 and the 425k Addeybb won in the Champion Stakes easily matches your day’s work!”

In monetary terms it might just do so, but in the media perception – I still didn’t watch it on ITV, but Sky Sports Racing, who had to share their rightful coverage of Ascot with Racing TV and the national broadcaster - both revelled in Holliemania. It was indeed mostly a one-way street.

In the end, though, it proved to be almost a dead-heat on the earnings front, the final figure arriving at almost exactly £1 million (505 Tom and 495 Hollie); just like their riding styles: tidy, unobtrusive and in each case being in the right place at the right time in just about all their races.

I’ve mentioned Tony Nerses before and there’s no doubt that Imad Sagar’s Racing Manager played a big part in securing Hollie’s services earlier in the year. When the news came it was with a mixture of surprise at the appointment and dread that it might all go pear-shaped, but the tiny Hollie quickly grew into the role. The first Group races soon came, notably on Sagar’s Extra Elusive at Windsor in August, the highlight of her personal five-timer that day. Now she has that first Group 1 on her ever-expanding list of achievements and a record number of winners for a female rider: already pushing 120, that in a truncated year. Which of them will win the championship first? Possibly Hollie, but either will be a credit to the accolade.

There seems no limit to the list of potential employers – if you’re good enough for Sir Michael Stoute, you’re good enough for anyone. At the same time Marquand has seamlessly moved from the guy who happened to be available to partner Addeybb in those two winning Group 1 rides in Australia last winter to now being the go-to man for that well-travelled mudlark’s trainer, William Haggas.

I use the term mudlark advisedly, and there is little doubt that there is no point in turning up on Champions Day if you cannot cope with the soft ground that is almost inevitable in mid-October. That was always the main argument against staging such an important date so late in the year. In a normal mid-October once the European pattern gets through the various Classic schedules of the three major racing nations, there is little scope to go elsewhere. The Irish have their Champions weekend; France and the Arc meeting follows three weeks later, so this is where our big day has to be.

Not that the winners of Saturday’s races are anything but worthy, even if the names John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien, for whatever reason, didn’t manage to collect any first prizes. I was surprised to hear that Gosden was citing the going for Stradivarius’ capitulation in the opening Stayers race. It was the fourth time he’d contested it and he’d won it only once previously. This time he’d gone through the extra exertion of a full preparation for the Arc with a mile and a half run in one of the trials. Gosden’s suggestion that because the Arc had been run at a pedestrian pace it was less demanding than usual seemed surprising.

The biggest surprise, though, in view of his less than outstanding record at this fixture – nowhere near the level of his three Gold Cups there or four Goodwood Cups in high summer – was that he started as short as 11-10.  Trueshan came to the race having won six of ten career starts, including a defeat of smart stayer Withhold in Listed class last time at Salisbury. Runner-up Search For A Star had won the last two renewals of the Irish St Leger for Dermot Weld and third home Fujaira Star had won a Royal Ascot handicap before impressing in a top-class Ebor at York and following home Search For A Star at the Curragh. It was a hot race.

I fully expected Andrew Gemmill to have been at Ascot on Saturday for Trueshan’s win, but he stayed home. Andrew was one of the four original owners – the Singula Partnership- of Trueshan but in May last year they leased the horse to the Barbary Lions 5, a bigger syndicate of 20 in which the quartet also participates. That lease ends at the end of the year according to Andrew and it will be interesting to see whether Alan King will allow this four-year-old gelding to run over hurdles which must have been the original plan. More than likely he’ll be happy to stay on the level and try to win next year’s Gold Cup.

Some spectacular results have been achieved by two of Saturday’s winners, cheaply bought at auction some way into their careers. The Darley-bred Glen Shiel had already raced 11 times in all, once at two, then as a three- and four-year old for Godolphin with Andre Fabre, winning three times. Turning up at the Doncaster May sales as a five-year-old, unraced so far that year, he was bought on behalf of Archie Watson for £45,000 and didn’t see a British racecourse until October. Five runs before the turn of the year didn’t produce a win, but the first of three pre-lockdown appearances did.

On January 8 at Newcastle off a mark of 96 and ridden by Hollie, he won readily. It was not until another five runs later, also at Newcastle in late June that he collected again and that was the start. The son of Pivotal has shown his and his trainer’s ability with a second to Dream Of Dreams in the Haydock Sprint Cup and then by reversing that form while also seeing off perennial Group 1 sprint contender Brando, much to his rider’s evident disbelief.

Marquand was also the beneficiary of an inspired purchase. The four-year-old Njord had started out with Sheila Lavery’s Irish stable, gaining his first win off 63 in May last year. He collected again on October 13 before going to Goff’s sales six days later when BBA Ireland paid 54,000 Euro on behalf of Jessica Harrington. By now on 82, he ran back at Gowran Park only nine days after the sale, winning comfortably. Another win, soon after racing’s resumption in June came off 88 at The Curragh. On Saturday Njord ran away with the highly-competitive Balmoral Handicap and must now be on at least 110, more than three stone higher than where he started.

I highlighted the chance of The Revenant last week in this column and was not at all surprised that he coped with conditions better than Palace Pier when going one better than last year in the QE II. He now has the remarkable figures of 10 wins, two seconds and a third in 13 career starts. In that race, Sir Busker’s alarming tendency to hang left when put under pressure didn’t stop him from finishing fourth, showing that if he had been drawn on the stands side in that most unfair of all Cambridgeshires, he might well have won it. Fourth in this coveted Group 1 and almost £35k will have been satisfactory compensation.

One other horse that we in the UK probably have hardly noticed – I hadn’t! - even after his achievement of splitting Addeyyb and Magical, who was unluckily denied a run at a crucial stage, is Skalleti. This five-year-old, trained in Marseille by the talented Jerome Reynier has a record on a par with The Revenant’s. Even after Saturday’s defeat he has 12 victories from 16 and this autumn has a Deauville Group 3 victory over subsequent Arc winner Sottsass and an easy Prix Dollar victory on Arc weekend on his record.

Preconceptions proved misguided in several cases on Saturday, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that some of the winners weren’t up to standard. They were.

- TS

Sunday ‘chill-out’ is just Champion for golden couple Doyle and Marquand

Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand were on Sunday basking in the glory of their momentous Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot.

Fresh from breaking her own British record for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey, at Kempton earlier in the week, Doyle enjoyed a double in the first two races in Berkshire.

After steering Alan King’s Trueshan to a wide-margin win in the Long Distance Cup, the 24-year-old claimed her first victory at Group One level as Archie Watson’s Glen Shiel clung on by a nose in the British Champions Sprint.

Not to be outdone, Doyle’s partner Marquand landed the final two events on a six-race card – aboard the William Haggas-trained Addeybb in the Champion Stakes and then Jessica Harrington’s Irish challenger Njord in the Balmoral Handicap.

With no Flat racing taking place in Britain on Sunday, both had time to reflect on an unforgettable afternoon.

Doyle said: “It was a great day. I would have been pleased just for all the horses to run well, so to ride two winners was brilliant.

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“Trueshan was very impressive, and to get off to a start like that fills you with plenty of confidence for the rest of the day.

“I didn’t think Glen Shiel had won, so it was a big shock when he was called as the winner.”

Hollie Doyle was in shock after victory aboard Glen Shiel
Hollie Doyle was in shock after victory aboard Glen Shiel (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Doyle is just as thrilled for Marquand as she is for herself, adding: “It was brilliant for Tom to win the Champion Stakes, especially with it being on Addeybb, who has been such a flagbearer for Tom. He’s a well-travelled horse, who is just getting better and better.

“We went out for dinner on the way back from racing, so that was nice.

“Today is the first day of no Flat racing in a very long time, so we’re just chilling out and taking advantage of that.”

Marquand won two Group Ones in Australia aboard Addeybb earlier in the year, and is full of praise for his trainer William Haggas after producing him to win a first top-level prize on home soil.

Addeybb and Tom Marquand (left) landed the Qipco Champion Stakes
Addeybb and Tom Marquand (left) landed the Qipco Champion Stakes (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

He said: “It was unbelievable. Addeybb has done wonders for my career already, so to go and win on Champions Day was incredible.

“William has had the race as a long-term goal, and it was a masterclass in training. Taking him to Australia, bringing him back and having this race as his target and pulling it off – it’s hard to comprehend, to be honest.

“It’s the Champion Stakes and one of the hardest races of the year to win. You had Magical and other champions in there. We knew we had a top horse in Addeybb – but you can’t say you’re confident, going up against horses like that.

“We were looking forward to running and hoped he would put his best foot forward, but in your heart of hearts you can’t help but think it’s near on mission impossible trying to beat horses like that. How lucky we are to come across a horse that can do what he’s done.”

Marquand admitted the the scale of both his and Doyle’s achievement is still sinking in.

He said: “After racing we got in the car and looked at each other and started laughing – it’s ridiculous really.

“You couldn’t have written the day any better. We are both so lucky to be in the position we’re in.

“Unintentionally, I guess, we’re pushing each other. We both have similar goals and things we want to achieve. We’ve got each other’s entire and full backing, which has to make a difference.

“We never get a day off together, so today couldn’t have fallen any better. We’re just chilling out and enjoying it.”

Hollie Doyle leaves lasting impression on unforgettable Champions Day

Hollie Doyle made her mark on an unforgettable Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot with a double that included the first Group One triumph of her career.

Glen Shiel gave the record-breaking 24-year-old that landmark success when just holding on for glory in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.

Doyle and connections of the Archie Watson-trained six-year-old had a few anxious moments waiting for the result of the photo-finish, before it was confirmed Glen Shiel (16-1) had beaten Brando by a nose.

The epic success by the narrowest of margins capped a momentous week in another season to remember for Doyle, for it was only on Wednesday she broke her own record for number of winners by a female rider in a calendar year.

“It is a dream come true, a massive dream come true, especially on this horse. Everyone in the yard adores him,” said Doyle, who at Windsor in August became the first female jockey to ride five winners at a single meeting.

“My aim at the start of the year was to ride a Group winner and I always said a Group One one day, but I didn’t think it would come this year.

“I don’t get too carried away, but I’m a bit delusional as to what is going on at the moment as it has all been a bit of a whirlwind. It has been a great few years.

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“It feels really unusual as for someone like me it doesn’t normally happen, but it has done today.

“I’m in a state of shock right now. I didn’t think I’d won, so to have had the result we have was incredible.”

She added: “It’s not about me it’s about Archie Watson, he has campaigned this horse unbelievably. No one else would have won a Group One with this horse.”

It was only 35 minutes earlier she had become the first female to ride a winner on British Champions Day with an easy victory in the opening Long Distance Cup on Trueshan (11-1).

Leading over a furlong out, Alan King’s stayer stormed away from the opposition to score by seven and a half lengths from Search For A Song.

“That was incredible, I travelled all over them. He doesn’t like being crowded, so I switched him at the three-pole and the further I went, the better,” said Doyle.

Hollie Doyle opens her British Champions Day account on Trueshan (left) in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot
Hollie Doyle opens her British Champions Day account on Trueshan (left) in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“This is a proper horse, he won his first two starts. I’ve always liked him – but I’m not going to lie, I didn’t realise he would be up to Group Two level like today.

“The further I was going, the better. He was tanking with me and he went through the ground like a tractor.

“The pace was reasonable, but he was travelling and he felt like he was hacking round there. I switched my fellow round horses as they said he didn’t like getting crowded in the Ebor and when I pushed the button, he responded.”

A remarkable hat-trick looked on the cards when she went out to partner Dame Malliot in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

But as hard as they tried, Doyle and her mount had to play second fiddle to Wonderful Tonight and William Buick.

Thumbs up from Hollie Doyle's partner Tom Marquand after his win on Addeybb in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot
Thumbs up from Hollie Doyle’s partner Tom Marquand after his win on Addeybb in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Doyle lost nothing in defeat in the biggest race on the card, the Qipco Champion Stakes, as she steered Roger Charlton’s 33-1 outsider Extra Elusive into a creditable sixth place.

However, she would have taken pride in the outcome as the winner, Addeybb, was ridden by her partner, Tom Marquand.

Fittingly, the couple fought out the finish of the concluding Balmoral Handicap, with Marquand landing the spoils on Njord and Doyle second on Solid Stone as they ended the day all square with two winners each.

Doyle said at the conclusion of a remarkable afternoon: “It has been incredible and you wouldn’t have called it. We both came here with a few chances, but in Group Ones and races like that you need a bit of luck. It has exceeded all expectations.

“Tom really liked Addeybb today and I think that is the icing on the cake, for the horse to win a Group One in England. I thought Dame Malliot was my best chance, but I just bumped into a good one there. Glen Shiel was incredible.

“It feels really special as we are the younger generation and we are probably two of the youngest people to have ridden four winners on Champions Day out of six races.

“We are going for a meal around here somewhere which will be nice. I’m not sure who is paying, we will have to go half and half!”

Njord seals day to remember for Tom Marquand

Tom Marquand completed a Qipco British Champions Day double at Ascot with victory on Irish challenger Njord in the Balmoral Handicap.

Having taken the Champion Stakes through Addeybb, Marquand struck on Jessica Harrington’s runner to emulate his partner Hollie Doyle who also enjoyed a big-race double.

Fittingly, it was Doyle who was Marquand’s closest pursuer as she chased Njord (15-2) home on Solid Stone.

Raeeq, the 11-4 favourite, made the running on the far side with Solid Stone close up. Marquand bided his time and came with a telling run in the final furlong to run out a cosy winner. Greenside was third and Graignes fourth.

Marquand said: “Success makes everything feel a bit easier and I guess, as many sportspeople will tell you, confidence is the key to having more success. I guess that’s probably a prime example of it.

“Jessica sent him over and he is in good form. He has run a few big races and both she and Shane Foley said that he would absolutely love the ground. I actually took a pull on him at the two-pole because I thought I was going to get there too soon.

“Fortunately, with races like that, luck was on our side. We were drawn over on the right side with the favourites and it fell absolutely perfect for him.

“Jessica booked me for her lighter horse in the race and he ended up not running and I ended up landing on this lad. She has sent over good few runners this year and I have been really lucky to be sat on them.

“I have to thank her for the opportunities because we have had a little bit of success without striking. She is an incredible trainer – she has sent over a Champions Day winner, so well done to her and the team.”

He added: “I booked a table last night up the road, so we will go for a bit of dinner and probably sit there smiling for a couple of hours!”

Addeybb just Champion at Ascot for Haggas and Marquand

Addeybb overcame his wide draw to get his revenge on Magical in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Beaten into second place by Aidan O’Brien’s brilliant mare last year, Addeybb turned the tables with a dominant display.

Tom Marquand made his intentions clear by galvanising William Haggas’ six-year-old straight from the stalls to get a good position.

It worked, with Addeybb – a dual Group One winner in Australia in the spring – on the heels of the pace-setting Serpentine before being given the office by Marquand to go and win the race.

Addeybb (9-1) was quickly challenged in the straight by Skalleti (13-2), but managed to shrug off the French raider and win by two and a quarter lengths.

Magical (15-8 favourite) was another half a length back in third, without looking like getting to the winner.

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Marquand said: “Honestly what a credit to Safid (Alam, groom), William and Maureen (Haggas) and the whole team at home. He’s gone to Australia, he conquered Down Under and now he’s come back and he deserved that Group One here so much.”

Marquand is the partner of Hollie Doyle, and added of her achievements on the day she rode a Champions Day double, including her first ever Group One: “I’m so, so proud of her. All she does is get up every day and graft and to ride her first Group One for Archie Watson is brilliant, because he’s played such a big part, but also for Alan King because he’s played a big part for both of us in the last few years.

“Our first Royal Ascot winners were for him and he’s had a cracking year. There’s no one, genuinely no one, who deserves it more.”

Haggas said of his one-time Lincoln Handicap winner: “He is a special horse for us and has done lots of things we can only dream of. The Australia thing was so fantastic because he had never actually won a Group One.

“I think the first time we put cheekpieces on him in the Wolferton last year he put up a pretty smart performance to beat Elarqam and Magic Wand in a Listed race. Ever since then he has been either first or second in top company. He likes the ground and goes well fresh.

Celebration time for Tom Marquand
Celebration time for Tom Marquand (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“It seems a bit ridiculous to take him to Ayr to run in a Listed race (in preparation for Ascot), but actually it was a nice thing for him as we could give him a month between there and here. He looked imperious in the Lincoln that day (2018) over a mile, but he loves it fresh so we try keep him fresh. He was fresh going into Australia.

“We always hoped he had it in him. Personally I couldn’t see Magical being beaten, as I thought she beat us comprehensively last year, although not by very far. I was frightened the ground had dried too much today, but it was pretty horrible and he loves it when it is horrible.

“He is at his best when there is an inspection in the morning and it passes and as Tom said it feels like good ground on him. Tom said in the first one he won in Australia it was English good ground and no softer than that. He is pretty versatile, but he is deadly on this ground.

“We (Haggas and wife Maureen) watched him together and he never looked like being beaten. I know that sounds awfully arrogant, but if you watched him the whole way round he was in the perfect position and he was able to get a breath coming into the straight and when he said ‘go’, he went.”

I’ve no doubt he will be champion one day

He added of Marquand: “Tom is a young guy that has his girlfriend kicking him up the backside every day, but he is a very personable, strong rider that has done very well. He has got a hell of a future. I’ve no doubt he will be champion one day.

“All these jockeys and trainers want to be competing on these days and races like this. He has got there very early on in his career and good luck to him and he will do really well. I hope it is with us, but if it is not, it’s not.

“He will do really well in the future as he is a top-class guy and rider.”

Marquand reaches century of winners at Haydock

Tom Marquand reached 100 winners for the Flat season with victory aboard Holbache at Haydock on Friday.

Marquand, who sits in third place behind title-holder Oisin Murphy and William Buick in the race to be champion, was delighted to reach the landmark in a successful campaign that has seen him win his first domestic Classic on Galileo Chrome in the St Leger.

“It’s been pretty mad. Obviously it’s been a strange year,” he told Racing TV.

“Last year I finished the championship on 90 and that was starting from the Guineas so, relatively speaking, going into Champions Day getting to 100 has bettered last year by a good way.

“We’ve still got another month to the championship, so hopefully there’s a few more to be had.”

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Holbache looked a reformed customer after being tricky earlier in the year when he crashed through the rails at Windsor with Marquand aboard.

Successful at Chepstow last month, Tony Carroll’s youngster put his best foot forward to make all the running in the Join Racing TV Now Nursery Handicap and hold Prospect by a neck at odds of 4-1.

“He was a bit of a tricky customer before. I probably found the wrong end of him at Windsor when I cantered to the start going pretty quickly,” he said.

“Tony has done a great job with him, straightening him out. He won at Chepstow and he’s won again, so he’s certainly on the right path.”

Brentford Hope got back on track with a cosy victory under top weight in the Get Daily Tips At racingtv.com Handicap.

The Richard Hughes-trained three-year-old had not lived up to expectations in three starts this term, following an impressive debut success at Newmarket last October on his sole start as a juvenile.

However, the son of Camelot redeemed himself on his second outing since being gelded with a cheeky success in the hands of Jamie Spencer.

The 9-4 favourite toyed with the opposition before going on in the closing stages to score by three-quarters of a length from Mascat.

“He was a bit more focused today. He travelled strongly even though I was sat up in third. At any stage of the race, I could have gone and taken the leader on,” Spencer told Racing TV.

“The ground is important to him, but you’d have to be impressed with that.

“Richard has been very complimentary about his work. At home he says you can work him with five/six furlong horses and have no problem laying up with them.

“Obviously you have his pedigree as a guide – he’s out of a mile-and-a-half winner (and) by Camelot, so you’d have thought two miles, not one mile.

“It’s only a guide. The animal is a lot quicker than you’d give him credit for.

“He’s always been quite a good horse – and since he’s been gelded, he’s been a lot more relaxed. Hopefully he’ll be a nice horse for next year.”

Marquand hails ‘remarkable’ Doyle after record-breaking success

Tom Marquand has hailed Hollie Doyle’s achievement of setting a second successive record of winners in a calendar year for a female jockey as “remarkable”.

Doyle partnered her 117th winner of 2020 at Kempton on Wednesday night and her partner Marquand, who has himself enjoyed a stellar year in gaining his first Classic in the St Leger on Galileo Chrome, believes the best is yet to come.

“I can’t imagine there are more than four or five other jockeys that are over 100 winners for the year so far. It is remarkable,” he said.

Tom Marquand stepped in for the spare ride on Galileo Chrome in the St Leger
Tom Marquand stepped in for the spare ride on Galileo Chrome in the St Leger (Alan Crowhurst/PA)
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“She was hoping that by staying for the winter she would be able to carry that momentum through, but then stopping racing for nearly three months completely knocked that on the head and we were both sat at home thinking ‘what is going to happen when racing gets going again?’.

“Neither of us were retained at the time and we weren’t sure how it would go once racing started, as we thought it would favour the retained jockeys with the one meeting a day rule as they would be able to pick and choose their rides, but she has just come out the gates flying.

“She has continually gone winner after winner. She has hit personal landmarks as well, after riding her first Group winner and becoming the first women jockey to ride a five-timer in Britain. Even this record largely goes over her head.

“Her main worry was that not many people can back up riding 100 winners in a year time and time again, and she has shown this year that she has not only been able to do that, but she has obliterated it.

“It is a credit to her grafting and nothing else. There are no secret tricks going on behind the scenes. She is just riding out every day, going racing and turning up in the best shape she can. She is in a great position as she has a fantastic job with Archie (Watson) and with Imad Al Sagar (retained owner).

“Her career is building hand over fist at the moment. She turned 24 on Sunday and relatively speaking, you would like to think there is a good chunk of her career left to be able to achieve a lot more. This is a massive achievement and hopefully a sign of things to come.”

Marquand and Addeybb primed for Champion Stakes glory

Tom Marquand has already enjoyed plenty of memorable moments in the saddle this year and Addeybb will bid to give him another on Saturday in the Qipco Champion Stakes.

For some 2020 cannot end soon enough – but for Marquand, who this season has landed a first Classic victory aboard Galileo Chrome in the St Leger and a breakthrough Royal Ascot success, it could be about to become even better.

Having steered the William Haggas-trained Pivotal gelding to a brace of Group One victories in Australia earlier this year, the 22-year-old will attempt to guide the six-year-old to further top-level glory in the mile-and-a-quarter prize at Ascot.

Though Addeybb, who finished second in the race 12 months ago, is yet to score in his four previous outings in Group One company in Britain, Marquand believes he has every chance of changing that statistic at the weekend.

Addeybb (yellow colours) chased Magical home 12 months ago
Addeybb (yellow colours) chased Magical home 12 months ago (Simon Cooper/PA)

Marquand said: “He is a dual Group One winner, but British racing probably thinks he is a horse that can’t win a Group One over here which is a shame.

“He bumped into Magical at Ascot in the race last year and if you can run three-quarters (of a length) second to something like that, you are a solid Group One horse.

“Hopefully this is his go at giving it a proper shot. What will be will be, but hopefully he can put his best foot forward and run his heart out.

“It is going to be an ultra-competitive race, as it should be, but what a great ride to have in the race.”

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While Addeybb appeared to make hard work of landing a Listed contest at Ayr last time out, Marquand is far from concerned about the performance.

He said: “He was giving weight away to horses like Lord Glitters, and he is no mug – he has won a Group One. It’s a hard thing.

“I was speaking to Harry Eustace, who looked after him in Australia, on the morning of the race and I said I would probably still have to give him a couple of flicks and that he wouldn’t go through with it on the bridle and win, because that is just not him.

“Lo and behold he came off the bridle at the three pole and looked in trouble, but I gave him a couple of flicks and he just stuck his head down and went through with it.”

Tom Marquand is confident William Haggas will have Addeybb in perfect order for his latest Group One assignment (Nigel French/PA)
Tom Marquand is confident William Haggas will have Addeybb in perfect order for his latest Group One assignment (Nigel French/PA)

With that outing expected to have put Addeybb spot on for his Group One return, and conditions in his favour, Marquand has every right to be hopeful.

He said: “You would like to think he is spot on and William has had a few years of practice with him in getting him ready for certain days and he has pretty much nailed that.

“Hopefully we get a sensible draw and the ground we want, then after that it is on him. I think he is a horse that deserves to win a Group One in Britain.”

Starman will be pitched into Group One company for the first time at Ascot on Saturday (Mark Cranham/PA)
Starman will be pitched into Group One company for the first time at Ascot on Saturday (Mark Cranham/PA)

Marquand will look to strengthen his partnership with Ed Walker-trained Starman when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Qipco British Champions Sprint.

He said: “He has had a flawless career so far, he is three from three and very exciting.

“I think he has surprised a lot of people. He only just scraped home at Lingfield, but I got off him and I was convinced he was nice and only going through the motions.

“He wouldn’t want the ground too soft, but he will go there regardless. He is on an upward curve and it is certainly worth a try to see if he can continue it.”

With Starman having successfully taken the step up to Listed company in his stride last time out at York, Marquand believes it was an effort that can be upgraded given things conspired against him

He added: “His last run was particularly impressive. He put it to them in a very competitive Listed race at York, beating Dakota Gold who is a fair yardstick.

“Everything went wrong for us there, but he still managed to come out on top being relatively inexperienced.

“Hopefully he is the sort of horse that can step up and be on the sprinting scene for the next couple of years.”

Victory for Starman would be particularly sweet for Marquand, with it coming less than four months after losing the ride aboard his stablemate English King in the Derby.

He said: “It is nice for Ed, as he had all the excitement with English King earlier in the year and that never really materialised and it is great he has such another exciting horse come along so quickly to back up in the same year.

“It was never an issue losing the ride on English King, I get on great with Ed and we’ve had plenty of winners in between and hopefully I will have a few more.”

Nahaarr swoops late to secure Ayr Gold

Nahaarr came from the clouds to claim a last-gasp victory in a thrilling renewal of the QTS Ayr Gold Cup.

The lightly-raced son of Dark Angel was a runaway winner at Newbury in July before finishing ninth when favourite for the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

A well backed 7-2 market leader to gain compensation in another fiercely-competitive sprint handicap in Scotland, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old was travelling strongly but still well back in the field racing inside the final two furlongs.

However, once given a reminder by last week’s St Leger-winning jockey Tom Marquand, Nahaarr swiftly went through the gears and went into overdrive – finishing with a rare rattle to get up and beat Spanish City in the dying strides.

Mr Lupton – a winner in Ireland last Sunday – was third, ahead of Soldier’s Minute in fourth.

Haggas was completing a big-race double on the card, following the earlier success of stable star Addeybb in the Doonside Cup.

William Haggas enjoyed an excellent afternoon at Ayr
William Haggas enjoyed an excellent afternoon at Ayr (Nigel French/PA)

Speaking from his home in Newmarket, Haggas said: “It’s been a good day. We had 15 seconds in about a week and six of those were beaten a short head, so we deserved a bit of luck and thankfully we’ve got it today.”

Of Nahaarr, he added: “I watched him the whole way, obviously.

“He missed the break, which I think was a deliberate tactic as Tom felt he raced a bit freely at Goodwood and he didn’t want that to happen again today.

“I think he would have been an unlucky loser if he hadn’t won. I’m not sure what we’ll do with him now. I’m just pleased things have gone well for him today.”

Addeybb delivers in Doonside Cup

Dual Group One winner Addeybb set himself up for a second tilt at next month’s Qipco Champion Stakes with a battling victory in the Jordan Electrics Doonside Cup at Ayr.

The William Haggas-trained six-year-old found only the brilliant mare Magical too strong on Champions Day at Ascot last October – and an Australian adventure earlier this year yielded back-to-back wins at the highest level.

Having filled the runner-up spot behind Lord North on his latest appearance in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot three months ago, Addeybb was the 11-10 favourite for his Listed assignment in Scotland – despite conceding 7lb to each of his six rivals.

Supporters of the market leader will have been sweating early in the home straight, with last weeks’s St Leger-winning jockey Tom Marquand hard at work aboard Addeybb while several of his rivals travelled smoothly.

However, the Pivotal gelding dug deep to grab the lead to grab the lead inside the final furlong and galloped all the way to the line to repel the late thrust of the grey Lord Glitters by three-quarters of a length.

Speaking from his home in Newmarket, Haggas said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him.

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“He came good at the end of the race. He’s such a genuine, kind horse. He’d prefer softer ground, but he dug in and I’m thrilled.

“I thought it was a pretty smart performance as the penalty he had to carry was big.

“Hopefully he comes out of it well and we’ll head to the Champion Stakes.”

The Kevin Ryan-trained Magical Spirit was an emphatic winner of the QTS Ayr Silver Cup.

A winner at Beverley in early June, the four-year-old had since struggled to make a major impact in successive starts at Newcastle and most recently at Haydock a fortnight ago.

However, the 18-1 shot looked a class act in this fiercely-competitive handicap – bounding clear on the far side of the track under Kevin Stott for a three-and-a-half-length success over Admirality.

Hot favourite King’s Lynn led for much of the six-furlong contest before weakening out of contention.

Cosmo Charlton, racing manager for owners Hambleton Racing, said: “We’re delighted with that.

“He’s a horse Kevin has always had a lot of faith in and he’s kept on improving.

“He had a bit of a wind issue, which was resolved, and we came into today full of confidence he would run well, although I can’t say I expected him to win like he has!

“I would say Kevin will be looking at Stakes race for him after that.”

Umm Kulthum finished with a flourish to secure top honours in the Scotty Brand Firth of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes.

A narrow winner on her racecourse debut at Thirsk, Richard Fahey’s youngster then finished a fine third behind Irish challenger Miss Amulet and the high-class Sacred in last month’s Lowther Stakes at York.

On the strength of that form, the daughter of Kodiac was the 9-4 favourite for this Group Three test in the hands of Paul Hanagan – and eventually cut down Scarlet Bear to prevail by a length.

Following the victory of Nahaarr in the Ayr Gold Cup, Haggas and Marquand completed a treble on the card with 9-2 chance Johan in the Luxury Staycations At Western House Hotel Handicap.

Tom Marquand eager for Addeybb reunion at Ayr

Tom Marquand is excited to renew his association with his old friend Addeybb in the Jordan Electrics Doonside Cup at Ayr on Saturday.

Marquand owes a great debt to William Haggas’ gelding as he gave the young rider the first Group One triumphs of his career earlier in the year in Australia.

Haggas is preparing Addeybb for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot next month and this Listed contest fits in nicely with those plans.

It will be the first time Marquand has sat on the gelding since they finished second behind Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“Obviously I’m looking forward to getting back on board him,” said the 22-year-old.

“I’ve not sat on him since Royal Ascot. William said I had enough fun on him that day and someone else deserves a go at home!

“He’s a cracking animal. Hopefully the ground doesn’t dry out too much. He certainly looks in good order at home.

“It’s probably a different path to Champions Day, but it’s perfect for him. He should have his conditions. A mile and a quarter on a galloping track, that’s what he wants.

“It was a well-spotted race by William, perfect timing. Hopefully it will set him up nicely for the big day.

“He’s got the penalty, but he’s a dual Group One winner and hopefully he can overcome that.”

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Euchen Glen has won four of his five starts at Ayr and finished second in the other.

The seven-year-old completed his recovery from a serious injury that had kept him off the track for nearly two years with victory on his sixth run back at Haydock earlier this month.

Trainer Jim Goldie targeted this race straight afterwards, but did not expect Addeybb to be in the line-up.

“He’s in great order and we know he likes the track, albeit his wins have come off a lower rating,” said the Glasgow handler.

“I was hoping Mr Haggas might go elsewhere with Addeybb, but at least we’ll know where we going afterwards. If we beat him we might have to supplement for the Arc or something!

“Our horse is adaptable trip-wise and ran a good race at Group One level behind Stradivarius at Goodwood earlier in the year.

“Hopefully he’ll run well.”

Lord Glitters, winner of the 2019 Queen Anne Stakes for David O’Meara, drops down in class, while San Donato and Fox Chairman are others that bring strong form to this Listed contest.

Richard Fahey is expecting a big performance from Umm Kulthum in the Scotty Brand Firth Of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes.

The daughter of Kodiac showed she was capable of winning a race of this stature when third to Miss Amulet in the Group Two Lowther Stakes on only her second start at York last month.

“She won first time at Thirsk and backed that up with a solid race in the Lowther,” said the Musley Bank handler.

“She’s improved so I hope she’ll run a big race.”

Karl Burke’s She’s So Nice and the Tom Dascombe-trained Scarlet Bear, who were fourth and fifth in the Lowther, are among the opposition again.

Adrian Nicholls felt Mamba Wamba might have taken the Roses Stakes at York had she not been hampered at a crucial stage of the Listed contest.

Instead she had to settle for fourth place, just half a length behind the winner, Acklam Express. She has, however, gone on to open her account back at the same course two weeks ago.

“She’s going into the race in great form. She ran well in a Listed race at York and broke her maiden well,” said Nicholls.

“It looks the right option to go for. It looks quite a strong renewal. If she could get some black type, it would be great.

“She’s run very well all season. At York she went close, but I think she would nearly have won if she hadn’t got bumped. She could have been going into this a Listed winner, but I wouldn’t swap her. If I was riding, I wouldn’t swap her either.”

Dual Kempton scorer Perfect Times has a bit to find on ratings, but connections of the Mark Johnston-trained Gleneagles filly believe she could run into a place.

Charlie Johnston, son and assistant to his father, said: “She has been quite impressive in both her Kempton wins and I think she has won with a bit in hand on both occasions.

“The handicapper has given her a mark of 84 and in normal circumstances we would be running a horse like this in a nursery and working our way up, but getting some black type would be valuable to her owner/breeder.

“I don’t think you have to read too much into the fact she has won twice on the all-weather – it is just where the races were as opposed to a preference for that surface.

“Franny (Norton) felt after her last run she could get seven, but we decided to stick to six for the time being.”

Fahey targets third Ayr Gold Cup with Mr Lupton

Mr Lupton is out to bag his second major prize in the space of a week in Saturday’s QTS Ayr Gold Cup.

Richard Fahey’s sprinter was rated as high as 113 at one stage of his career, but a fairly slow start to the current campaign saw him fall to a mark of 98.

A third-place finish in last month’s Great St Wilfrid at Ripon suggested he was on the way back and he continued his resurgence with victory in the lucrative “Bold Lad” Sprint Handicap on Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh last Sunday.

With talented apprentice Billy Garritty booked for the ride to negate his 5lb penalty, Fahey is hopeful Mr Lupton can provide him with a third victory in this weekend’s Scottish showpiece following the previous triumphs of Fonthill Road (2006) and Don’t Touch (2015).

“He hasn’t done a lot since he came back from Ireland, just a couple of light canters,” said the Musley Bank handler.

“He seems in good form. It’s one of those – you just don’t know until the day, but we’re happy to run him.

“He’s been a star, a legend. It’s amazing. He was bought at a charity function. Out of the charity came a bit of good.”

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Fahey also saddles outsider Gabrial The Wire, of whom he added: “He’s a bit hit and miss. A fast-run six-furlong race should suit – it’s just if he’s quick enough to lay up early on.”

Tim Easterby was relieved Staxton made the cut, having decided against running him since winning the Great St Wilfrid last month.

He said: “He’s in good order and I hope he’ll run a good race.

“We took a gamble by waiting for this race. I could have run him somewhere else under a penalty, but I spoke to the owners and we decided we’d wait for this and thankfully he’s just crept in.

“He’s drawn down the middle (15) and I hope he’s got a good chance.”

Seven days on from claiming Classic glory in the St Leger at Doncaster aboard Joseph O’Brien’s Galileo Chrome, jockey Tom Marquand has high hopes of landing another major prize with the William Haggas-trained Nahaarr.

Tom Marquand is looking forward to teaming up with Nahaarr
Tom Marquand is looking forward to teaming up with Nahaarr (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The lightly-raced son of Dark Angel was a runaway winner at Newbury in July before finishing ninth when favourite for the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

“He’s a really good ride to have. I think we’ve got drawn pretty well in 13, so I’m looking forward to riding him,” said Marquand.

“He’s a horse with lots of ability. He didn’t handle Goodwood all that well in the Stewards’ Cup and I just hope this can be a bit of a bounce back from that run. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be.

“Fingers crossed things can go our way.”

The formidable combination of trainer Andrew Balding and champion jockey Oisin Murphy is represented by Stone Of Destiny, who bids to follow up his win in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster last Saturday.

Balding said: “He won the Portland well and although this is a little bit further for him, he is a good horse when everything drops right – that is the key to him.

“He needs a strong gallop to aim at, which is what he will get at Ayr, but he doesn’t want the ground too soft.

“The Portland was the aim, but we decided this was worth having a go at afterwards.”

David O’Meara fires a four-pronged assault, with top-weight Gulliver joined by stable companions Arecibo, Cold Stare and Young Fire, while Kevin Ryan has three runners in Bielsa, Hey Jonesy and Major Jumbo.

Jedd O’Keeffe’s Air Raid and the David Barron-trained Another Batt also feature in what is always a fiercely competitive affair.

Caspian Prince highlights Yarmouth treble for Tom Marquand

Caspian Prince continued to defy his advancing years when forming the highlight of a treble for Tom Marquand at Yarmouth with a front-running success in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap.

Although now in the twilight of his career, the Mick Appleby-trained Dylan Thomas gelding showed he still retains plenty of ability at the age of 11 after setting a new five-furlong course record of 58.57 seconds on his way to the 21st victory of his career.

Making the most of his sharp exit from the stalls, the 11-2 shot found more than enough to repel the late challenge of dual course and distance winner Texting by a neck.

Marquand, who rode Caspian Prince as a teenager while working with his former trainer Tony Carroll, said: “What a legend. It was a fair effort making his own running.

“I was lucky to sit on a horse like that aged 13 and I’m still lucky to be sat on him aged 22. He is a soldier.

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“There were a few times there I thought we were beat, but he kept finding a little bit more.

“He has been a cracking horse over the years. He is still winning races at 11 years of age and it is testament to everyone that has kept him in one piece.”

A return trip to Dubai in the winter could be on the cards for Caspian Prince according to the winning trainer, provided he remains in good heart.

Appleby, speaking away from the track, said: “This is the third year we’ve had him and he has been a good old boy. He still shows plenty of enthusiasm at home.

“If the ground stays quick, then we will keep on running him over here. It’s a possibility that he could go back to Dubai as he does go well out there.”

William Haggas has saddled plenty of talented individuals to their first victory at the Norfolk track, and Ready To Venture (4-6) could be another after getting the ball rolling for Marquand with a length-and-a-half success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The Newmarket handler said: “You never know the quality of these races, but she could do no more than win. I think she is a top of the ground filly and hopefully she is useful.”

Ready To Venture holds entries in the Group Two Shadwell Rockfel Stakes and Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile, both at Newmarket, however Haggas will let the dust settle before making future plans.

He added: “We have got her in a few smart races, but we will work out what to do nearer the time. Her mother, Wonderstruck, was a very good stayer that stayed a mile and a half well.”

Nicklaus took full advantage of a drop in the weights to complete Marquand’s hat-trick, and bring up a double for Haggas, by gaining his first victory since scoring at the track two years ago when battling back to defeat King Ragnar by a head in the attheraces.com Handicap.

Haggas said of the 7-1 winner: “He obviously loves the sea air. I thought he did very well as he got headed then picked up well.

“The handicapper let him down 3lb after his last run and he needed every pound of that as he had not won for two years.

“I’m very pleased for (owner) Highclere Thoroughbred Racing as I didn’t think I was going to get a winner for them this year. It is great as four of them have come up to see him as well.”

Foret hat-trick now the aim for One Master

A Prix de la Foret hat-trick bid is on the cards for One Master following her narrow defeat at Doncaster on Saturday.

The William Haggas-trained mare has claimed Group One glory on Arc weekend in each of the past two seasons and has had a return to Paris top of the agenda throughout the current campaign.

A short-head verdict in a Group Three at Goodwood is her only victory from five starts this term, but she has been far from disgraced on her last couple of outings – chasing home the high-class Safe Voyage at York before being beaten a whisker by Wichita in the Group Two Park Stakes on Town Moor.

Haggas said: “She ran very well. She’s just been unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes.

“She’s come out of the race fine and that (Foret) is the plan.”

Sacred (blue cap) was just touched off at Doncaster
Sacred (blue cap) was just touched off at Doncaster (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

One Master is just one of 15 Haggas-trained horses to have finished second since September 3, with six beaten a head or less. He did enjoy an across-the-card double on Monday, however.

Another to go close at Doncaster was Sacred, who was a hot favourite for the Flying Childers after finishing second in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and the Lowther at York, but she had to make do with minor honours again after being touched off by Ubettabelieveit.

Haggas added: “Sacred was unfortunate as we had to go a bit earlier than we’d planned to beforehand as the race was happening away from her.

“She’ll go for the Cheveley Park Stakes next.”

Tom Marquand celebrates Classic glory at Doncaster
Tom Marquand celebrates Classic glory at Doncaster (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Both One Master and Sacred were ridden by Tom Marquand, who put the frustrating results behind him to claim a first Classic success aboard the Joseph O’Brien-trained Galileo Chrome in Saturday’s St Leger.

Haggas is proud of the 22-year-old’s achievement, saying: “I was thrilled to bits for him.

“It’s thoroughly deserved. He gave the horse a very good ride and I’m delighted for Tom.”

Twist of fate makes Marquand’s St Leger dream come true

Tom Marquand counted his blessings after fate contrived to give him a first domestic Classic triumph in the Pertemps St Leger on Galileo Chrome at Doncaster.

When the four-day meeting began on Wednesday, the 22-year-old rising star had been booked for English King – but when it became apparent that horse would be heading for the Grand Prix de Paris on Sunday, he was without a ride again.

But as happened in this year’s Derby – when he lost the ride on English King and was snapped up instead for Khalifa Sat and was second on Andrew Balding’s 50-1 outsider – there was a twist in his favour.

As Marquand arrived at the start on Sacred before Doncaster’s Flying Childers Stakes on Friday, he was told he was going to partner Galileo Chrome for Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien – after Shane Crosse had tested positive for Covid-19.

He had to pinch himself, but it turned out to be a dream of a spare ride.

Marquand shows maturity and ability way beyond his years – and to win the world’s oldest Classic, founded in 1776, was just reward for his talent.

He said: “I can’t say how bad I feel for Shane Crosse – because we’ve all been in situations where things haven’t gone our way, and we’re both relatively young – so I can relate, and he’ll be sat at home in pieces, no doubt.

“I guess in racing it all comes back round. No doubt he’ll have his time, and I look forward to seeing him do it.

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“I’ve never met Shane in person. We’ve both only been riding a relatively short time – and I guess, without the restrictions over the last few months, he’d have been over here and I would have come across him.

“I’ll certainly have a chat with him later on.

“It really is a dream come true. Classics in Britain are some of the hardest races go come across. Group One races in Britain are equally hard.

“To have my first Group One winner on UK soil in the St Leger for Joseph O’Brien who, when I as growing up was one of the best jockeys in racing, is mind-blowing.”

Marquand spent a lot of this winter in Australia, and enjoyed a highly-successful time with two Group One successes.

Apart from the odd minor blip, 2020 has continued to be the year of a lifetime – despite the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Time and time again this year, it’s all fallen my way,” he said.

“I had a few minor bumps in the road, but I wouldn’t mind the rest of my career going that way.

“It’s incredible how racing works everything out. I lost English King in the Derby but rode Khalifa Sat for Andrew Balding and finished second.

“I got English King back for today, and he has ended up going to France for a more favourable race (for him).

“Obviously I couldn’t go there, because I would have to do a week’s quarantine afterwards – which wasn’t something I could do – and Shane Crosse’s misfortune has luckily for me ended in my lap.

“I was able to have a good look at this horse’s form when I was in my hotel room. It looked like the mile six and a half would be within his reach, and he has shown today what a horse he is.”

Marquand is proud of partner Hollie Doyle's achievements
Marquand is proud of partner Hollie Doyle’s achievements (Tim Goode/PA)

Marquand’s partner Hollie Doyle has had a record-breaking last 12 months herself, setting a new highest tally for most winners by a female jockey in a year and having already reached a century earlier than she did in 2019.

He stressed how proud they are of each other’s careers.

“There is no top dog in the house,” said Marquand.

“We are both really fortunate to be in the position we’re in and have the run we’ve had over the last couple of years.

“We are both proud of each other’s achievements – and long may the household continue on this path.”