Big Up for Big Evs

Tom Marquand all smiles after riding Big Evs on Wednesday morning | Emma Berry


ARCADIA, USA — Tom Marquand arrived at Santa Anita on Wednesday morning in the company of his wife Hollie Doyle, and while she has been ruled out of riding Bradsell (GB) (Tasleet {GB}) in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint through a suspension incurred at home, Marquand is relishing his participation aboard Big Evs (Ire).

The GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint favourite has shot straight to the top of the class among an exciting batch of first-crop runners for the top sprinter Blue Point (Ire). The son appeared to be made very much in his father's mould as he sped along the turf under Marquand as the sun was coming up, and the jockey was ebullient in his praise of the youngster on his return to the quarantine barn.

Marquand said, “It's my first time here and I've just been trying to take it all in. It's one of the most picturesque tracks in the world. I've always loved Goodwood, but this is a bit different. It's great to be here, especially with a horse like him. He looks in great shape and feels in great shape. He'll have to be fast but he is fast.”

Big Evs is also the first Breeders' Cup starter for his trainer Michael Appleby, who has prepared the colt beautifully for his debut season, in which he broke his maiden when winning the Listed Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot after finishing runner-up on debut at Redcar at the end of May. From Ascot he landed the G3 Molecomb S. at Glorious Goodwood before one disappointing run when down the field against his elders in the G1 Nunthorpe S. However, he bounced back three weeks later to post a decisive victory in the G2 Flying Childers S.

Appleby is set to appear at Santa Anita on Thursday morning, and Marquand's post-breeze report will surely have been music to his ears while he was en route to America.

The jockey added, “You almost want to try to pick a hole in a horse when you ride them, but to be honest you can't really. He looks to have taken the travel well and he's taken it all in his stride. He has a good draw and he'll have to be very good to win, but he is very good. That's the reality. 

“Obviously we've a couple of days to go but he's absolutely where you'd want him to be.”


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