Hear the one about the Englishman and the Irishman?

Hear the one about the Englishman and the Irishman?

An Irish apprentice and visiting Englishman will be the centre of punters' attention at Randwick on Saturday.

The names Robbie Dolan and Tom Marquand would have been relatively unfamiliar to Sydney punters last month before a couple of winners for each of them across the festive season.

Neither Dolan nor Marquand admit they were expecting to be riding a raft of favourites on a Saturday in Sydney. But with jockeys heading to the Magic Millions meeting on the Gold Coast, they become the go-to hoops.

Popular: Tom Marquand is in demand from trainers

Popular: Tom Marquand is in demand from trainersCredit:AAP

It is an indication of the quick acceptance of the pair by owners and trainers that they will be on half the favourites for Saturday's Randwick card.


Marquand, who plies his trade mainly for Richard Hannon in England, came out to Australia during the British winner and was told Magic Milions day could be the biggest opportunity of his stay.

He rides Hemmerle and Organza, which will both start favourite, while the Richard Freedman-trained Pumpkin Pie is a $4.50 second elect in the third over 1200m.

“When I came out John O’Shea said to me that this was the weekend where [fellow visiting Englishman] James Doyle rode four winners and really got going when the other boys were away,” Marquand said. “It is brilliant to get these chances but just because they are favourites it doesn’t guarantee anything.”

For Dolan, who came to Australia looking for an opportunity, it continues the build of his career under the guidance of Mark Newnham.

“I was just happy to be riding in Sydney and get a couple of winners, but to get on these favourites is exciting,” Dolan said.

Dolan’s three-kilogram claim will be used in full even on Single Bullet, which he will ride at 49kg, while he finishes his day on Turnberry and Live And Free, which are well found in betting.

"I only really started to ride in Sydney full-time in the past couple of months. It was the plan to ride in the country and get going," Dolan said. "I can see why I had to do that now because I'm a much better rider and was ready when I came here.

Making his mark: Robbie Dolan scores on Gresham, left, at Randwick last week, one of two winners on the day.

Making his mark: Robbie Dolan scores on Gresham, left, at Randwick last week, one of two winners on the day.Credit:AAP

"To get the double last week was great and it is good to have a couple of favourites again.

"The 49 for Single Bullet isn't a problem for me because I'm pretty light and he wouldn't have had that sort of [light] weight before.

"He is a good sprinter and to pick up the rides on Turnberry and Live And Free was good.

"I couldn't have imagined these sort of  rides a couple of weeks ago."

Even Godolphin will use his three-kilo claim on Schubert, which represents another milestone for the young apprentice.

"I have had one ride for them, which ran third, but I think Schubert has been in good form and it would be great to win in those colours," Dolan said. "I think he will be hard to beat.

"It is something I would like to do, win one for Godolphin."

Dolan has another two years on his apprenticeship and is in the process of moving towards permanent residence.

"My visa has another year to go but I have started doing the paperwork to stay here," he said. "I can see myself making a career in Australia and there are a couple of goals I'm setting myself.

"I would like to ride in Sydney and win the [apprentice] premiership. Sam Weatherley is leading this season. He has a good break and is a very good rider.

"I hope to get a bit closer to him by the end of the season, but it will be hard work."

While Dolan is planning his future in Sydney, Marquand has locked in a return next year during the summer after enjoying the experience of the past month.

He has to get back for the beginning of the classic season over in England but feels he will be sharper for the experience.


"I want to come back here next year. It is different to home but it a good to see different way of riding," Marquand said. "I have a great job back home, so I have a couple of more weeks here before going home.

"In England we are riding every day and don't really stop where here you have days off, it is a different way of riding.

"I just feel like it sharpens you up a bit."

Marquand will also ride for Godolphin on Organza and she is perhaps his best chance of the day.

"She has been running in better races and it would be good to get a winner for them over here after riding one for Coolmore," Marquand said.

He was quickly booked by Danny Williams for Acquittal and Hemmerle and the Goulburn trainer made it clear what he thought of young Englishman.

“I think he's world class, I believe I'm a good judge of jockeys and I think he's going to be a superstar,’’ Williams told Racing NSW.

“I've booked him for as many as I could. He's very strong and now he's got his eye in he's going to be a force.’’

Marquand has yet to meet Williams but likes what he sees in his first two rides of the afternoon.

"The trainer is very confident and they should run well from what I have seen," Marquand said.

Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

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