Saturday 19 September, Ayr
When things are going right…a week after success at Doncaster in the St Leger on Galileo Chrome, Tom Marquand made his way onto the prestigious Ayr Gold Cup’s winners’ board along with Nahaarr.
Nahaarr, the much-touted 7-2 favourite, had to weave its way through rivals before storming to a last-gasp half-length victory over Spanish City with Mr Lupton third, Soldier’s Minute fourth and Kynren in the fifth position; the four-year-old was the second part of a Marquand treble, sandwiched by Champion Stakes-bound globetrotter Addeybb and Johan, all three legs of which were trained by William Haggas. Their association goes from strength to strength.
Marquand, who’d been driven to Ayr in a seven-hour journey by partner Hollie Doyle’s father Mark, said:
“He relaxed beautifully and as I started to work my way in [to the race] I was travelling so well that I was stuck behind about six an couldn’t find a way through, but as soon as half a gap appeared he was straight through and out the other side, and powerful to the line and through it as well.
“In races like this you have to bide your time and hope for a bit of luck, and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
“It was a long way here but a seven hour drive to ride horses like these is more of a pleasure than a chore.”
As Marquand basked in Saturday big-race glory once again, it was such an irony that the sun-drenched West of Scotland day would have been just right for a bit of basking for the usual, non-Covid attendance of around 12,000, but for the time being, of course, things are mainly behind closed doors. .