Taylor Marshall was the beneficiary of Covid-19 related travel restrictions in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap, but the 28-year-old takes his place in the field alongside the likes of James McDonald, Kerrin McEvoy and Tommy Berry knowing he put in the hard yards to get there.
The 28-year-old will ride the country-trained Master Jamie, who qualified for the $1.5m feature on Saturday after winning The Gateway in December.
The $10,000 purchase may be $151 to take out the prize but doesn’t phase the son of Group 1-winning hoop John Marshall, who says win, lose or draw, he is proud to be taking his place in Queensland’s premier race.
“With the Sydney and Melbourne guys up here, it makes it very competitive so it is a privilege to even have a ride in the race,” he said.
“At the end of the day everyone is doing their best and putting in the hard yards so you need to take those opportunities when they come.
“I have had a really good season actually so to capitalise off the back of that with a Stradbroke ride, it is great to do.
“He is going to need all the favours in the world but at the end of the day if you are in the race, you have a chance.”
Master Jamie (inside) holds off Stampe to win The Gateway last December. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail
Rockhampton trainer Graeme Green has taken the four-year-old on a meteoric rise through the grades.
While Saturday represents his toughest test yet, Marshall said he can do connections proud.
The four-year-old is a 13-time winner and while his last two starts haven’t been convincing, Marshall believes there is an engine there.
“Graeme is a very astute trainer and to his credit he has done a great job. He is only a four-year-old so to keep him up and qualify for Queensland’s biggest race is a credit to him and his team,” he said.
“His first-up run over 1000m was a really solid race. We drew a soft barrier and sat off the speed and really rattled home.
His last two starts haven’t been as convincing but he is the type of horse that does have his quirks – if he turns up on the day we know he is capable of being competitive.”
Originally published asMarshall’s hard yards to earn Stradbroke ride
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