Tom Marquand will return to the United Kingdom on a high for the 2020 campaign – spurred on by another successful spell in Australia, including a treble at Goulburn on Tuesday.
He struck first at the New South Wales course on Opacity for his main supporter John O’Shea – and trainers Jason Coyle and Danny Williams then supplied his other winners, with Your Witness and Glamour Strip respectively.
“It’s been a good stay so far,” said the former champion apprentice.
“Goulburn is quite a nice track, and John had a couple of runners there, so I got sent there for them – and my agent did a good job picking up those other rides.
“I’ve been so lucky since I came over here. All the trainers have been really good to me, sticking me on their horses – and they’ve not been afraid to stick me on fancied ones, either.
“Today’s was a small meeting, but I’ve had winners for six or seven different trainers. A lot of them are pretty open-minded, and stuck a foreigner on.”
Marquand had an enjoyable two-and-a-half-month stay in Australia last winter, which he felt prepared him for the 2019 season back in the UK – where he finished fourth in the jockeys’ championship and had a total of 136 winners in the year.
He is already appreciating the benefits of his latest trip – although it will be shorter this time, with his return to the UK planned for mid-February.
“I’m starting to feel like it’s nearly ready to come home,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting back and getting back in the swing of things.
“That’s when I know I’ve got the timing about right. I’ve got two and a bit weeks’ riding left.
“I’ll be ready to come home and get rolling again. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated for the new season.
“I came for two and a half months last year. This time, I’m only going to be here for seven and a half weeks altogether – so it’s quite a short stay really.”
Marquand has been surprised at how well he has been received by several trainers and owners, not just O’Shea.
“Both years I’ve organised everything through him, and he’s been my main supporter, but everyone has been great,” he added.
“Trainers and owners have got behind me – and they’ve put me on a couple here, a couple there. I’m pretty surprised how wide the support has been.
“Last year, coming here got me ready to get going again in England. It made the season feel relatively short. If it manages to do that again I’ll be over the moon.”