St Leger hero Tom Marquand chasing further Classic success aboard Youth Spirit in Derby

Tom Marquand is one of the most exciting young riders in the weighing room and he is relishing his ride aboard Youth Spirit in next month’s Derby at Epsom Downs on June 5.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:28 pm
Tom Marquand celebrates after winning last year's St Leger aboard Galileo Chrome. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Marquand, who secured Classic glory in the St Leger at Doncaster aboard Galileo Chrome last season, is set to partner the Andrew Balding-trained Youth Spirit in the iconic contest over 12 furlongs, a year on from finishing second in the Blue Riband event in the same colours of Ahmad Al Sheikh aboard Khalfa Sat.

Marquand, who is engaged to fellow superstar rider Hollie Doyle, is hoping he can go one better at Epsom in June as he looks to follow hot in the footsteps of his St Leger victory.

Marquand, who has also tasted Group One success at Royal Ascot and aboard old ally Addeyybb in Australia, famously landed the St Leger at Doncaster last term.

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He was a last minute replacement aboard Galileo Chrome for Joseph O’Brien with Shane Crosse ruled out of the race having tested positive for Covid-19. However, Marquand grabbed the opportunity with both hands, steering Galileo Chrome to a neck success in the oldest British Classic on September 12.

The success meant everything for Marquand and he is now hoping to enjoy more Classic success at Epsom.

Youth Spirit, a 16/1 chance for Derby glory, is a son of 2012 winner Camelot and pitched his hat into the Derby picture with a smooth success in the Chester Vase Stakes at Chester earlier this month. Ruler Of The World is the last horse this decade to complete the Chester Vase-Derby double.

The rider said: “I’m really looking forward to my ride on Youth Spirit. I kindly rode for the same connections in last year’s Derby on Khalifa Sat who was second and it would be a great story if we could go one better with Youth Spirit this year.

“I know how much a Derby winner would mean to me, trainer Andrew Balding and also the owner Ahmad Al Sheikh who is from Dubai and only has around 40/50 horses in training, so it would be lovely to give him a big winner.”

Reflecting on his victory in last year’s St Leger, the rider added: “Winning the Derby is definitely a race everyone wants to win. I’m lucky to have won Group One races and then you do want to start riding Classic winners.

“I’m lucky to have won a Classic in last year’s St Leger aboard Galileo Chrome at Doncaster but the Derby is the pinnacle and it holds itself in a different light compared to the other big races. The St Leger is the oldest race but the Derby is the main target for trainers, jockeys and owners.”

Latest Derby betting via BettingExpert

7/4 Bolshoi Ballet; 7/2 High Definition; 13/2 Mohaafeth; 7/1 Hurricane Lane; 8/1 John Leeper; 12/1 Third Realm; 14/1 Van Gogh; 16/1 Youth Spirit; 20/1 Bar