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Marquand makes the final three of Young SPOTY

14 December 2015

The Flat season may have finished but champion apprentice Tom Marquand could still land another huge prize after making the final three for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

The 17-year-old’s achievements were recognised by the wider sporting world last month when he was nominated alongside nine other athletes from a wide range of sports and there was further reason to celebrate yesterday evening.

The news of Marquand joining gymnast Ellie Downie and para-swimmer Tully Kearney in the final trio was announced live on CBBC’s Blue Peter.

Marquand said: “I'm almost lost for words. It’s amazing to be considered for such a well recognised award. To even think about having a chance of winning it is very special. It means an awful lot to me to just be down to the final three as it is an award that is reserved for people who are regarded in high order at such a young age, so I'm truly flattered.I’d better book my flights for Belfast just in case I do win it!”

Cheltenham-born Marquand rode 54 winners to land the Stobart apprentice title this season, beating Jack Garritty by two in a pulsating final week, while also finishing 26th in the overall Stobart Flat Jockeys Championship and recording just four fewer winners than Frankie Dettori during the season.

The overall winner of the YSPOTY award will be announced when Belfast hosts the 2015 Sports Personality of the Year awards on December 20. Previous winners include Andy Murray, Wayne Rooney and Tom Daley.

Marquand’s agent Sash Righton said: “It’s a massive and quite unbelievable achievement – this time last year it would have been a complete dream to be even thinking of being down to the final three for such a prestigious award. This just tops off what has been a fantastic season.

“It’s a great moment for racing as well as it puts the sport back into the spotlight. Being the Young Sports Personality of the Year award, it should also help to encourage young people to enter the sport and seriously consider it as an exciting career path.

“Tom’s success has all been down to his dedication and natural ability, which he has in abundance.Tom is a really nice, down to earth and very grounded young lad – all the feedback I have received from trainers and owners has echoed those sentiments. I'm very proud of his achievements– it ’ s been a magical 12 months.” 

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