Tom Marquand crowned champion apprentice

ASCOT, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Tom Marquand poses at Ascot racecourse on May 09, 2015.
Image: Tom Marquand pictured at Ascot

Tom Marquand was crowned champion Flat apprentice after finally seeing off his rival Jack Garritty on the final day of the revamped campaign.

Marquand clinched the title 54-52 with victory on Sellingallthetime at Catterick, while Garritty was out of luck with both his mounts on Ascot's Champions Day card.

Garritty had closed the gap to just one thanks to a double at Haydock on Friday, but he could not put Marquand under any further pressure as he drew a blank.

Cheltenham-born 17-year-old Marquand signed off in style with a short-head success on Michael Appleby's top-weight, who was a well-backed 8-1 chance in the toteexacta Pick The 1st And 2nd Handicap over a mile and a half.

He will be presented with his Stobart Champion Apprentice trophy next Saturday when it is expected he will be joined by family and friends for the ceremony. The venue will be known when riding plans are confirmed..

Marquand's rise has been quite spectacular. He only joined the yard of Richard Hannon a little over a year ago and did not ride his first winner until December.

He chalked up victories for many different trainers but his number for Hannon is more than any other, so it is no surprise the trainer sees his young jockey as a star of the future.

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"There's no doubt that Tom has the ability to go all the way. He rides very well and is a pleasant lad who works hard and deserves all the success he has had these past 12 months," said Hannon.

"To have come so far in such a short space of time is a terrific achievement, and normally these young jockeys who do reach the top as quickly as he has done prove to be the very best.

"His 3lb claim has been invaluable to us this season, and I would have liked to have used him even more, but he quickly became fashionable and he was getting so many outside rides that we were reluctant to take him off."

Similarly, Garritty has rewarded the faith shown in him by trainer Richard Fahey, for whom he has ridden 33 winners.

Many of those have come in big-field handicaps including the Ayr Silver Cup (Tatlisu), John Guest Bengough Stakes (Eastern Impact) and the Gigaset International Stakes (Heaven's Guest).

Fahey, who had a treble on the Catterick card, said: "He was based down at Kingsclere with Andrew Balding, but through his Dad (former jump jockey Russ Garritty) he had a lot of good northern connections and I think it made sense for him to move up to Yorkshire.

"Andrew was excellent about it and said he'd only let him go if he was joining me, and that's how it worked out.

"He rode Eastern Impact to win a Group Three at Ascot a couple of weeks ago and, even though he couldn't use his apprentice allowance, he gave it a typically strong ride.

"He knows it's going to get tougher soon. But he's got his feet on the ground, he's a very polite lad with a good head on him and for as long as keeps riding like he has been doing, there will be more rides for him from me and plenty of others I'd imagine!"

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