Tom Marquand reflected on a thoroughly satisfactory Qatar Goodwood Festival that saw him pick up not only the top jockey title but all the riding accolades.
The rider ended the week with four victories to his credit, all of which demonstrated his undeniable range of skill in the saddle.
While Hamish’s win in Friday’s Glorious Stakes was a pretty straightforward affair, Marquand twice exhibited his excellent front-running abilities, first stealing the march on Quickthorn’s rivals in Tuesday’s Group One Goodwood Cup – a trick he repeated on Saturday aboard Sumo Sam in the Lillie Langtry Stakes.
In contrast, Desert Hero had to be delivered with precision timing in Thursday’s Gordon Stakes, prevailing by just a neck to cement his St Leger claims and raise hopes of a Classic winner for owners the King and Queen.
Marquand admitted there was only ever one set of tactics with Quickthorn, but was delighted to be able to show the full range of his powers in the saddle.
He said: “Obviously with Quickthorn it was plan A – and plan A only – and I was always going to do it, and everybody knew I was going to do it.
“It was pretty special and to do that in a Group One, as a jockey I’m always conscious that you don’t want to fall into that lull of if you’re riding 140/150 horses a month, you can very easily just sort of go into an autonomous routine and you go out, you get on, you canter down, you jump out the stalls, and you can end up riding without any flair or passion.
“And I think it’s important to make sure that you ride like you enjoy it, because you do enjoy it.
“Quickthorn showcased that and then being able to go opposite and ride with a bit of playfulness in the opposite regard on Desert Hero the next day, it makes it fun as a jockey.
“I know that ultimately you have one job and that is to win and get it done, but sometimes by making sure you’re enjoying it, it can actually be the way to ride best.”
Marquand spent his formative years with the Hannon team in Wiltshire and admitted the yard’s success over the years at the meeting put an extra shine on taking the leading jockey honours.
He added: “It’s great. It’s been a good week. Coming to big meetings, you walk away with one winner and when you start that’s obviously a big deal. But the further you go through your career, you want to put your name on the placard. It’s great.
“I grew up at Hannon’s as an apprentice and Goodwood was a big, big deal. You only have to look at the table on the wall to see how many times Richard Hannon senior won it, and obviously Richard junior after, so it’s always been something you would have your eyes on from when you are an apprentice, so it’s great, it’s nice.”
Ralph Beckett came out on top in the trainers’ division, sending out three winners including the King and Queen’s Serried Ranks on Friday and Lennox Stakes hero Kinross, who was one of two winners for Frankie Dettori at his final Goodwood Festival.
Beckett said: “I am amazed, what a lovely surprise!
“It has been a very satisfying week, I have really enjoyed it and am delighted with how the horses have been running. There were too many seconds, but that is the nature of it!
“Kinross’ win in the Lennox Stakes is the obvious highlight, but also the double yesterday was pretty special.
“Classical Song’s second on debut in the maiden fillies’ race was a pleasing run, and Balance Play’s win in the handicap yesterday was a long-held plan.”