Tom Marquand believes his mount Southern France is an “ideal sort” for Saturday’s Kia Tancred Stakes as the rider seeks a Group One prize for the second successive week at Rosehill in Australia.
The jockey claimed a first top-level victory aboard the William Haggas-trained Addeybb at the Sydney track and has another chance as he teams up with the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained five-year-old.
Southern France was previously trained by Aidan O’Brien and finished third in the 2018 St Leger before moving to Australia last October, where he has won one of his three starts for new connections.
Marquand said: “I went in the other morning to sit on him which was nice to do before the race. He has won since he came here, so he has shown he has been competitive out here.
“He had been for a couple of trials before running back at Flemington over a mile and a quarter and step up to a mile and a half is more his trip.”
Marquand is well acquainted with rival Verry Elleegant, having had her back in second place behind Addeybb last week.
He aIn-form dded: “It’s a pretty competitive race and Verry Elleegant is in there, but if ever she was vulnerable, now is probably the time as she will have had two hard races in a week as she ran second to us the other day.
“We did go slow, but we eyeballed each other from a long way out and she was probably a bit heartbroken, but at the same time she is still an Australian Oaks winner.
“Southern France was bumping into some of the best mile-and-a-half and Cup horses back in Europe and he ran some good races against them. He is the ideal sort of horses for races like this out here.”
Southern France is not the only familiar name to line up in the 12-furlong feature, with last year’s Ebor winner Mustajeer also in the line up for Kris Lees.
That handler also has ex-David Menuisier inmate Danceteria and former David Simcock runner Mugatoo, who finished second to the Marquand-ridden Young Rascal last week.
Former Sir Michael Stoute runner Mirage Dancer also lines up.