A ground-saving ride from visiting English jockey Tom Marquand enabled Live And Free to get the better of his rivals in the Hyland Boxing Day Sale Handicap (1800m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Trained by John O’Shea, the four-year-old son of Savabeel came from near last and made ground close to the fence before gaining a split late to win the 1800m contest and notch his fourth career victory from 12 starts.
“I think Tom has really announced himself today and what a quality rider he is,” O’Shea said.
“We have been honoured to have him ride for us for the last couple of weeks while he is finding his feet and I am sure if he keeps riding like that he will have no trouble getting rides.
“He is a horse with a lovely turn of foot for a good mile and a quarter horse and he has got a very bright future.
“He has never been able to carry weight because he is only a little fella, so to carry 58.5kgs for him is a good achievement.”
Marquand was Britain's champion apprentice three years ago and rode 106 winners in England this season.
The jockey is based with Sydney trainer John O'Shea during the European winter and rode his second winner for his sponsor after earlier scoring on Movie Role for David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
“We just dropped in from (gate) 10 and John just said ride him for luck and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen,” Marquand said. “It obviously did.
“I was really happy with him at the trials and he was one of the first horses I sat on around here, so it was nice to get a feel of him and he has clearly got loads of ability and he has got the attitude to suit as well.
“It is nice to ride a winner for John on one of my first full days riding,” he said.
Live And Free originally raced as Patrician for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman in New Zealand before being sold privately to clients of O’Shea. – NZ Racing Desk