Coffee Break With Tom Marquand!

This week’s Coffee Break blog is from Tom Marquand. Tom is one of the most exciting riders of his generation and has been an earmarked as a future champion jockey. The 23-year-old has already tasted success in Group One races, the highest accolade in horse racing and was also a former finalist of the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

Being a jockey, diet is extremely important for Marquand. That ranges from what he is allowed to eat, but crucially what he also drinks on a daily basis, given he may ride seven days a week. Drinking coffee is therefore a crucial aspect of his daily routine with a need to help keep his weight down pivotal. Given its qualities as an energy source, coffee not only helps Marquand from putting weight on, but also enables the rider to constantly feel at his best in the saddle.

Marquand rose to international acclaim earlier this year when he partnered Addeybb to successive victories in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Randwick in Australia.

Now back in Britain, Marquand is chasing success in the sport’s biggest prize, the Derby on June 5 at Epsom Racecourse where he will partner Youth Spirit. He discusses his hopes and ambitions and also reflects on his relationship with fiancé Hollie Doyle who finished third in the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year, whilst going into detail on his love of coffee.

Tom Marquand: “I love coffee and I do drink lots of it”

I do find coffee quite an important part of my diet and obviously it does help with the early mornings given you are getting to the yard to ride out horses at around 6/6.30am in the morning. I actually bought a coffee machine just before I went to Australia. I make the coffee in the Nespresso Machine just from whole coffee beans instead of pods and I absolutely love it – it was a great investment!

I also drink a lot of black coffee as it’s an easy way to keep firing on all cylinders and obviously keeps me from eating too much so it doesn’t have a massive effect on my diet. I would drink maybe two or three cups of black coffee in the morning. My favourite coffee is actually a double espresso lungo. When I was in Australia in my hotel room during my two week quarantine, I was having to drink instant coffee just from the kettle in my room. Genuinely, when I got out of quarantine, the first thing I did was buy an iced coffee from a coffee shop across the road. I used to look at it every single day and I could see people buying coffees every day and they wouldn’t do takeaways so I went straight across the road and bought an iced coffee.

My fiancé Hollie doesn’t drink as much coffee, but she is all about having milk in her coffee so she quite likes a latte!

Tom Marquand: “Winning one of the biggest races in Australia for the second successive year was a great thrill”

I went back to Australia late last year and there were obviously a lot more hoops to jump through in terms of quarantine. When Addeybb won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes for the second time, it was very special that he was able to do it again and it definitely felt a bit different given everything that happened this year.

I love going to Australia. It was such a great opportunity to go over there as it’s a prime time of year to go over there and not miss any big racing in Britain. I will probably look to keep heading out there for the foreseeable future.

Addeybb is in good form and I think the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot is his first target. It all depends on ground with him as he would like soft ground, but hopefully Ascot gets plenty of rain and we can run there.

I’ve enjoyed my best days in the saddle with Addeybb. I won my first Group One winner on him at Royal Ascot last year, he has also won on Champions Day and has won two Group Ones in Australia, he has been the horse of a lifetime for me.

Tom Marquand: “Winning the Derby is a massive aim for me and I ride Youth Spirit in the race this year”

I’m really looking forward to my ride on Youth Spirit. I kindly rode for the same connections in last year’s Derby on Khalifa Sat who was second and it would be a great story if we could go one better with Youth Spirit this year. I know how much a Derby winner would mean to me, trainer Andrew Balding and also the owner Ahmad Al Sheikh who is from Dubai and only has around 40/50 horses in training, so it would be lovely to give him a big winner.

Winning the Derby is definitely a race everyone wants to win. I’m lucky to have won Group One races and then you do want to start riding Classic winners. I’m lucky to have won a Classic in last year’s St Leger aboard Galileo Chrome at Doncaster, but the Derby is the pinnacle and it holds itself in a different light compared to the other big races. The St Leger is the oldest race, but the Derby is the main target for trainers, jockeys and owners.