Visiting English jockey Tom Marquand has continued his successful Sydney autumn stint, guiding two-year-old colt Holyfield to a fighting win in the Group Three Schweppervescence at Rosehill.
Trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Holyfield took up a prominent position on the rail early in Saturday’s 1400m race for two-year-olds before Marquand asked him to kick strongly around the home turn.
Holyfield ($8.50) was full of running entering the straight and continued to rally on the soft ground once Untamed issued a challenge on his inside, beating that colt by three-quarters of a length.
Time Is Precious was another 3-1/4-lengths away third.
“He put him in the race and left it out there and the horse was good and tough,” Maher said.
“He was there to be beaten but he was just too strong.”
Last weekend Marquand landed a feature race double at Rosehill on English visitors Young Rascal in the Group Three Manion Cup and his first Group One on Addeybb in the Ranvet Stakes, both for William Haggas.
Marquand has also made his mark for the Maher-Eustace team, having won two stakes races on two-year-old colt, Prague, in Sydney this year and also the Widden Stakes on Away Game.
“We don’t ever want Tom to go home. Hopefully he’s stuck here for a while,” assistant trainer Annabel Neesham, who was representing the stable at Rosehill, said.
Maher confirmed the Group One Champagne Stakes (1600m) was on the radar for Holyfield in three weeks, with stablemate Prague also in contention to head that way after he contests the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes next Saturday at Randwick.
Holyfield won on debut in Newcastle before heading to Melbourne where he won at Sandown and then was unplaced in the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes when Maher said he had excuses.
“He travelled back up to Sydney where he’s spent most of his career and together with a good ride from Tom Marquand he is building a nice record,” Maher said.
“If he can knock off a big one he is a very valuable colt.”
Marquand said things worked out perfectly for Holyfield.
“As soon as the other horse joined him in the last 250 to 300 metres he battled the whole way to the line,” Marquand said.
“There was never a moment’s doubt.”