William Haggas has praised Tom Marquand for his performances this year but warned the jockey not to get carried away with the media hype surrounding his displays.
Marquand was on board the Joseph O’Brien-trained Galileo Chrome as he scooped his first-ever Classic victory in the Doncaster St Leger earlier this month and the 22-year-old later went on to claim wins for Haggas on Nahaar and Addeyb at Ayr last weekend.
Marquand is just 18 victories behind reigning Flat Jockey champion Oisin Murphy as the season races towards its conclusion, and Haggas has been impressed with the young rider’s development.
Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s now twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the 60-year-old trainer said: “He’s an extremely talented rider and his confidence is really high.
“Jockeys, horses, even trainers do things that you don’t expect when their confidence is up, so he’s in a rich vein of form at the moment and it’s marvellous to see.
“His next problem will be believing everything that’s written about him in the media.
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“That takes a bit of handling but he’s doing really, really well and he’s a good rider and a very nice chap too.
“He’s a very level-headed kind of guy. But when you’ve been around as long as I have, I’ve seen lots of jockeys get heaped with praise and trainers heaped with praise and then things go awry and it’s very tough.
“Don’t forget about three years’ ago the greatest female jockey was Josephine Gordon and then she had a wobble. She was the first to a 100 winners I think, or second, she had a wobble and she’s just coming back now. She’s great, but she has had 18 months in the wilderness and it can happen, sadly.
“It happens to a lot of people in life, never mind horseracing, but Tom’s got a real level head, he’s a good guy.
“He’s 22-years-old so he’s got lots of things to go right and to go wrong for him in his life. Bu I don’t want to be down because he’s a great talent!”
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