Manoel Marques Q&A: The Top Breeze-Up Rider Talks Buyin Buyin And More

   Prominent breeze-up rider and handler Manoel Marques will have an extra pep in his step at the Craven Sale next week as Buyin Buyin (Ire) (Bungle Inthejungle {GB}), a horse he sourced for just €8,000 before riding him to victory in his wife Leidiana’s colours on debut at Dundalk, looks set to be sold for a multitude of that initial outlay.
   Marques has earned himself a reputation for being one of the leading riders on the breeze-up circuit, having partnered Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}), California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), Mshawish (Medaglia d’Oro) and many more top-notchers in their breeze before they became famous.
   In this week’s Q&A, Marques explains what it was that drew him to the Tally Ho-Stud bred Buyin Buyin at the sales, what that six-figure sale to an unnamed client means to him and his family and what he is most looking forward to at the breeze-up sales over the coming weeks.

You had a big result with Buyin Buyin winning his maiden on debut at Dundalk and I understand you have since got him sold.
I am very happy and the horse has made a few pound alright. I have never got anything like this before so my family is very happy about that. I buy about four or five horses every year and we have had some good horses but this is the best result for me.

What other good horses have you had through your hands?
I bought a very good filly called Happy Odyssey (Ire) by Camacho (GB) and she ended up winning a listed race for Amy Murphy. Jim McCartan consigned the filly under Gaybrook Lodge Stud at the breeze-up and Amy bought her there for £14,000. She turned out to be a very good race filly for her.

How long have you been based in Ireland?
I am in Ireland over 10 years now and my first job was with Willie Browne. I moved around a little bit and have spent time working with Thomand O’Meara, Tom Whitehead and Jim McCartan as well. When Paul Deegan was training, I spent some time working for him in Kildare as well, so I have moved around a lot.

You are a popular man on the breeze-up circuit and have a reputation for being one of the go-to riders.
That’s right. Thank God for that. I am very proud about that. Everybody knows me and I am very busy for the breeze-ups. I have my jockey’s licence as well and my family have some horses to race. I also rode a winner for Thomand O’Meara before at Dundalk.

Would winning in your wife’s colours on Buyin Buyin be your best experience in racing so far?
I was a very good jockey when I was younger. I would have been top jockey a couple of times in Brazil and I rode at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai for a bit as well. It was a long time ago, but I also rode all across South America–Paraguay, Uruguay and other places like that–and I have ridden over 1,000 winners all together. When I was younger, I rode many quarter horse races because I was very light. I rode many winners at that in Sao Paulo.

Why did you decide to come to Ireland?
I was working in England for Paul Cole and Ralph Beckett and got some great experience. I can remember somebody telling me all about the breeze-ups and I just thought it could be very good for me and help me to start a business with my family. I knew that I had the ability to ride these fast horses and thankfully it has worked out. I started out working with Willie Browne and got more contacts and it started to happen for me.

The breeze-up game has changed a lot in those 10 years.
It has and I am very proud of my business because, when I came here, I had absolutely nothing. I had some money from my time working in Brazil but it wasn’t a lot to go buying horses. I got some help from friends to get one or two horses every year and tried to grow it little by little. This year, my wife had five horses and it looks like Buyin Buyin is sold now. We have a few more to go breezing so hopefully it will be a good year.

What have you left to breeze?
I have one for Arqana, one for the Guineas Sale and another for Goresbridge. The horse for France is by Sioux Nation and he’s a nice colt who cost €40,000. The Guineas Sale horse is a Dark Angel (Ire) filly and the Goresbridge colt is by Dandy Man (Ire).

Buyin Buyin looks a steal now at the €8,000 you paid for him off Tally-Ho Stud at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale.
I don’t why he was so cheap but I just think God helped me and I thank God that I was lucky enough to have found him. I saw him at the sales and I really liked him. I remember going to look at him twice down in the yard. Before he went into the ring, I asked Roger what his reserve was and he told me it was only eight grand. I said, ‘okay, that’s fine,’ without making it look like I was really interested in the horse but I really loved the horse. Anyway, when the horse came into the ring, I went away to hide! Someone bid six, another person goes seven, then someone else goes seven-and-a-half. I bid the eight and then nobody else bid. I said, ‘thank God,’ and that’s how it happened.

Why didn’t you breeze him?
I nominated this horse for a couple of breeze-up sales but he didn’t get in. Some of the sales companies said they wouldn’t take him because the pedigree was a bit light but I never pushed too much for them to accept the horse. I really liked the horse and I can remember telling my wife, ‘look Leidiana, I like Buyin Buyin very much, this horse is a January foal and he is very strong and is working very well. I’ve made my mind up, I’m going to race this horse.’ My wife was a little bit afraid and said, ‘you need to be very careful because, if this horse does not win or finish in the top three, we are in trouble.’ I was very confident in the horse and guaranteed Leidiana that, if he didn’t win, he would finish in the top three at Dundalk. She wished me good luck and, while the horse was green in the race, thank God he won it very well and he was quite impressive.

You mentioned that he was green so hopefully there could be plenty more to come from Buyin Buyin.
He has plenty of ability. When I told Willie Browne that I wanted to run him, he told me that I was crazy. I told Willie how confident I was in the horse because he had been training very well and I think he will improve a lot for his next race.

And what does it mean to get a big payday with the sale of the horse?
I’m very happy because I’ve never had anything like this before. I am very happy and very proud of the horse. When the sale goes through, we can look at buying a property or something like that.

This is a very exciting time of year with the Craven Sale on the horizon.
Definitely. I have ridden a lot of special horses in the breeze-ups, including Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}), so it’s a very exciting time for me. I also rode Mshawish (Medaglia d’Oro), California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), Thundering Blue (Exchange Rate),
Dutch Masterpiece (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) and Ligthning Thunder (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) so I have been doing this for a long time and, while there is a lot of pressure at the breeze-ups, it’s normal for me.

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