Marquand set for latest challenge

Addeybb strikes in Australia under Tom Marquand
Image: Addeybb strikes in Australia under Tom Marquand

Tom Marquand is hoping Addeybb can feel the benefit of his recent Group One win as he clashes with top Japanese runner Danon Premium in what is a high-class field at Randwick on Saturday.

The William Haggas-trained six-year-old lines up in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the back of victory in the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill last month.

He beat the reopposing Verry Elleegant by half a length after briefly being headed, and with the runner-up going on to Group One success herself a week later, Marquand has plenty of faith in the form.

He said: "It does look a very good race. We've been pretty unlucky with where we are drawn, but that's the way it is.

"We're coming in off a win though, and Verry Elleegant boosted that form in winning a week later.

"It was a very tough performance that day, the ground wasn't really ideal and I'm not sure whether it will be tomorrow - rain is forecast, but it hasn't really come yet."

Danon Premium heads the market after finishing second in two of Japan's biggest prizes in the autumn, but he has not run since November - a factor Marquand hopes is in Addeybb's favour.

He added: "It's an extremely competitive race. The Japanese horse is favourite, but perhaps we have a slight advantage in that we've had a run and he hasn't been on the track since November.

"It's hard to really judge the Japanese form against the form here, but he's favourite for a reason."

Chris Waller has a further four runners in addition to Verry Elleegant, while Te Akau Shark and last year's Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare are also in opposition.

Marquand and Haggas also combine with Young Rascal, who steps up to two miles for the first time in the Schweppes Sydney Cup.

The five-year-old won a 12-furlong Group Three on his Australian bow last month, but the 2018 Chester Vase over an extended mile and a half is the furthest he has ever tried.

However, Marquand believes two miles will be perfect for Young Rascal at the Sydney track.

He said: "I'm really looking forward to riding him over this trip - I think two miles is more up his street down here than a mile and a half.

"I'm pretty excited to get aboard him - it's another really tough Group One, but I'm looking forward to it."

Last year's Ebor winner Mustajeer and Raheen House - one of only three horses to ever finish in front of Enable - are familiar names now in the care of Kris Lees.

Marquand has three other rides on the card, including Miss Siska in the Group One Coolmore Legacy Stakes, as he bids to continue what has been a golden spell in Australia.

The rider is due to stay for another week, although is unsure whether his travel plans will be impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

He said: "I'm staying until next Saturday for the Champagne Stakes, then I'm booked on a flight, but a few have been cancelled, so I'll have to see what happens."

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