Tom Marquand keen to ride again in Japan

Tom Marquand would return to the saddle in Japan in a "heartbeat" when the British Flat racing season ends.

The 24-year-old, along with wife and fellow jockey Hollie Doyle, competed in the last two International Jockeys Championships in Hong Kong before heading to Japan for a nine-week stint.

It was the couple's first trip to Japan, with Covid restrictions having scuppered their plans in 2021 - and the fervent Japanese fans instantly took them to their hearts.

After booting home 16 winners and securing a fourth-placed finish on Daring Tact in the Japan Cup and another Group One ride on Justin Palace in the Arima Kinen, Marquand cannot wait to get back, if invited.

"It is one of the places that everyone in racing should try to visit, just to see it," he said.

"For as much as people can tell you about it, until you actually go and experience it for at least a couple of weeks, it is pretty mad.

"Everyone should try to get out there. Apart from the racing, it is an amazing country. I'd go back in a heartbeat."

Marquand and Doyle, who is sidelined with a broken elbow sustained in a fall at Wolverhampton on January 16, will bid to apply to return at the end of the year.

"We will definitely try to go back this year," he said.

"Sadly, it is not quite as straightforward as saying, 'I want to go, I'll go', like Australia.

"But hopefully, the fact that we had a successful enough trip will help. The application for a licence is based on your success from the year previous, so it is based on what we have done in 2022 in England.

"We were joint second in the championship and you have to be top three in England and/or have ridden two major Group One winners. We both had three last year, so hopefully that will be enough to get back in."

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