Top jockey Tom Marquand blocked from racing by French government over Covid jab

TOP jockey Tom Marquand has been blocked from racing in France by the government – after only having one Covid jab.

The unlucky rider had his first shot of the vaccine at the end of June.

With Alenquer in action tomorrow in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, he was not able to get his second in time to travel over.

Marquand, who floored rivals when winning the July Cup on the exciting Starman last Saturday, was excited to team up with Alenquer again.

The duo landed the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, scooping £98,335 for connections of the William Haggas-trained three-year-old.

Despite 'pursuing very hard' his case to go over, the government said Marquand could not travel, meaning he will have to watch from home.

Marquand, 23, said: "Sadly I will be missing France because I only managed to have my first Covid jab when it was available for under 25s, which was at the end of June.

"I’ve not been able to get my second one as it’s only been two-and-a-half, three weeks, since my first one.

"I would love to be going over and pursued it very hard, but the French government and France Galop (Jockey Club) would not let me."

Instead, James Doyle gets the ride on the money-making horse, who in just four races has brought home £132,381.

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Victory in the Paris Group 1 will land another £306,107.

Marquand, who is battling Oisin Murphy and William Buick for the Flat jockeys' championship, will race at Yarmouth on Wednesday.

He added: "I want to be champion jockey, but I want to be riding good racehorses more than that.

"Sadly because of the circumstances of coronavirus I’m not riding Alenquer.

"It is what it is and cannot be helped.

"Potentially he’s my most exciting horse for this year. The way he’s shaping and the form at Sandown [where he beat Derby winner Adayar] and everything.

"I’m looking forward to watching him run on Wednesday and getting back on him next time.

"Hopefully, he will run a super race – and go and win over there. It’s no walkover by any means. He will need to be good as it’s some race."

Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane heads the betting at around 11-8, while Alenquer is second-favourite at 9-2.

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