Tom Marquand


My latest ‘PIGEON RACING’ jockey interview sees me speak to 2015 Champion Apprentice Tom Marquand

Tom is hoping to defend his title with a lead at present of three ahead of Josephine Gordon and speaks about his short career so far and ambitions for the future

15 August 2016

Date and Place of Birth

30th March 1998 Cheltenham

Who inspired you to get into racing and when did you first realise you wanted to be a jockey

Nobody in particular, living near Cheltenham played a massive part in getting me into the sport from a very young age

What age did you first ride / first actual race ride

I first rode at about 2 years old, my first pony race was when i was 13 and my first ride came when I was 16 in November 2014

What time do you get up in the morning

5.45am to get up and muck out

Which stables do you work for or ride out at the moment

I’m still with Richard Hannon full time

What are your strengths and weaknesses

I’ve never been interested in going out and partying and things like that, so I suppose that makes a massive strength in being able to stay on track and focus on getting to where I want to be. I’d say my weakness would be experience, obviously having only ridden for the last year and a half its something I’ll always be gaining

Who are your jockey idols you look up to or maybe base yourself on

Ryan Moore has always been a jockey I’ve looked up to, I think it is pretty much impossible to model yourself on anybody though, every jockey has their own style and little ways of doing things and you just have to create your own style

What was your first winner and where

MECADO at Kempton for the boss (Richard Hannon) 17 December 2014

Which would you regard as your biggest win

Definitely OH THIS IS US at Goodwood (21 May 2016) , it was a very valuable handicap and very good of the boss to put me on him on such a big day

Which racecourses do you like best

I think I’ve got the best strike rate at Chepstow but I really enjoy riding at Goodwood and was fortunate enough to become their ambassador at the start of this season

Who gives you your best advice

Sash Righton my agent is definitely the one who keeps me right, he’s a good friend and a fantastic agent and is rarely wrong

What is the best horse you have ever ridden

I used to ride TIGGY WIGGY most days and obviously would have loved to have sat on her on the track, she was electric and showed pure guts and heart on multiple occasions

Who are your best mates in the weighing room

The majority of people in the weighing room get on really well which makes things a lot more relaxed

What’s worst part of the job

Driving is by far the most draining part of the job, however on the plus side, if you’re doing a lot of miles it means you’re getting lots of rides!

What hobbies or sports do you like to watch or play away from racing

I’d quite often go cycling if I’m not riding to both keep fit and I enjoy it

Food and drink

Steak, mostly just drink water, I don’t drink either so that’s off the menu

Music I tend to stick radio 1 on most of the time in the car

Which course would you like to ride a winner at this year


How do you like and compare the different All-weather surfaces/courses

I don’t mind the all weather, I think all the surfaces are slightly different and a certain horse favours the different courses, I first started riding in the middle of the winter so my first couple of hundred rides were on it so I soon got used to it!

If you were put in charge of racing for one day what changes would you make

I don’t think I would change an awful lot, racing is supported by so many great people the structure holds itself up

What are your ambitions for the near future

To be champion Apprentice again would mean the world to me but I realise how hard it will be to do it again, this time without a claim making it twice as hard

Can you give readers a horse to follow for the rest of the season

I think Fair Eva is going to be one that will prove profitable time and time again

Big thanks to Tom for his time and the very best of luck to him for the rest of the season in his quest to again become champion apprentice. Might be worth keeping an eye on his rides this week at his beloved Chepstow on Wednesday and Thursday !