Marquand leaves door ajar for Australian return after EI outbreak hits

Summer sensation Tom Marquand won't completely rule out returning to Australia in a matter of weeks if the equine influenza outbreak in the United Kingdom lingers into the start of the European flat season.

English-based Marquand, who has impressed in a short stint in Australia over the holiday period, will jet out of Sydney on Saturday night just hours after riding at the $2 million Inglis Millennium raceday at Warwick Farm.

Uncertain return: Tom Marquand.Credit:AAP

He will return to an uncertain immediate future in his homeland, where the British Horseracing Authority has cancelled  racing until next Wednesday at the earliest.

Asked about the possibility of a swift return to Australia if the cancellation is extended, Marquand said: "If racing doesn't manage to get up and going again in the next few weeks it would be something I would consider, but I'd be very surprised if it went for more than a couple of weeks.

"I've been away from home for a long time and I've got plenty of stuff to be doing and contacts to be regaining, whether there's racing on or not. It's only a matter of time before it returns though.

"I wanted to get back in plenty of time to get the ball rolling again before the start of the season, and that's been half turned on its head with what's going on. I've organised to go home now and my agent hasn't booked me any rides here for the next 10 days or two weeks.

If racing doesn't manage to get up and going again in the next few weeks it would be something I would consider.

"We've just got to hope racing gets back on track pretty quickly."

Marquand has already delayed his exit back to Europe by a week to ride in the Inglis Millennium, where he will partner Mark Newnham's Blazing Miss.

By his own admission, Marquand has been surprised by the opportunities he's been afforded since arriving in Sydney thinkink  he would be consigned to provincial and country tracks.

"I was hoping to be coming over here getting a few rides and riding a few winners, but I was thinking more country and provincial winners on a Saturday," Marquand said. "I thought I'd be filling a few gaps there. But the support I've had off all the different trainers in the city has been brilliant.

"It's been a holiday coupled with working hard. It's been brilliant. All of the trainers have supported me – as well as the owners – and they've made it a pretty good time."

Blazing Miss will back up after running a narrow third to Amercement and Rotator in the Widden Stakes at Rosehill last week. Marquand will also partner Lindsay Park's Prairie Fire in the $1 million Inglis Sprint for the three-year-olds and White Moss in the group 2 Breeders Classic.

"I'm just looking forward to the whole day," Marquand said. "Mark Newnham's runner in the Millennium is something to look forward to, and all of them look worthy of being there. That's a pretty nice thing to have."

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