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Racing’s perfect pair return for LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship

3 minute read

There are very few examples in same-sport relationships where it is hard to decide which one is the higher achiever.

Jockey : Tom Marquand
Jockey : Tom Marquand Picture: PA

In an all-time sense it might be Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf from tennis but when it comes to the present day, Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle form a power couple to rival any other.

Married last year, Doyle and Marquand are a polite and unassuming pair who have captured attention of the racing world through their exploits. For both, the next stop will be Hong Kong.

The 25-year-old Marquand has already earned the moniker 'Aussie Tom' for some successful stints Down Under, notably winning three of the last four renewals of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) aboard Addeybb and Dubai Honour.

Hollie Doyle pictured at morning workout ahead of The Breeders Cup.
Hollie Doyle pictured at morning workout ahead of The Breeders Cup. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Doyle, 27, has broken countless records with perhaps the most significant being when becoming the first female jockey to land a major European Classic as she steered Nashwa home in the French Oaks (G1 Prix de Diane, 2100m).

Step-by-step they've matched each other, both even riding exactly 91 winners to finish joint-second behind William Buick in the 2022 British Flat Racing Championship. Then, by a strange coincidence, they had to convalesce from injury together at the start of this year, Marquand dislocating his shoulder at Randwick in Australia and Doyle damaging her elbow from a fall at Wolverhampton.

"We will be in rehab and recuperation together and be a right pair, so at least we've got two arms between us," Marquand joked in an interview back in February.

It wasn't long before they were both back in the winning groove. A seventh and eighth career Group 1 arrived for Doyle, through her main backer Archie Watson's Bradsell in the G1 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot before another strike on her long-time ally Trueshan in the G1 Prix du Cadran (4000m) at Longchamp, while Marquand earned the richest praise for his tactical front-running masterclass on Quickthorn at Goodwood.

Only in the last month, once the British season was over, Marquand won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (1000m) at Santa Anita aboard Big Evs and then jetted to Australia, where Doyle rode in the G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.

They headed immediately to Japan, where the winners have followed for both of them, and will be making a brief stop off in Hong Kong for the LONGINES International Jockeys' Championship at Happy Valley on 6 December.

"I'm sure I can probably speak for both of us to say that we're both absolutely thrilled to have been invited back to compete in such a prestigious event," Marquand said from Japan.

"It's just fantastic to be competing on the world stage against some of the world's best jockeys in a great atmosphere and we're honoured that The Hong Kong Jockey Club have invited us back to try to take home the trophy again."

Marquand's reference to the trophy is from his appearance at last year's contest, and he had been in a four-way tie for second during the 2021 renewal while Doyle was the first female rider to win a leg on her first visit in 2020 and has also made the overall podium on two occasions to date.

Marquand adds with typical understatement: "Obviously we've both had a good bit of luck in the competition over the last few years so hopefully we'll have a bit more this time around."

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