JADEN AND JEFF LLOYD
Jaden Lloyd, the son of Jeff Lloyd, champion jockey in South Africa and Australia, rode his first set of official trials at Tatura in Victoria, Australia, this week – and said in a television interview he was determined to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Jaden, 17, spent last year at the SA Jockey Academy at Summerveld – at the insistence of his father, who believed the discipline and educational environment at the KwaZulu-Natal institution was vitally important in the development of a young rider.
The Lloyd family emigrated to Australia several years ago.
Jaden has joined the Lindsay Park training establishment of the Hayes family and was inducted into Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Programme in March.
The young Lloyd said he initially aspired to be a racehorse trainer as he thought he would grow too heavy. “But at about age 14 I thought I might as well give this jockey thing a go.
“I didn’t go down the traditional route with ponies or anything, I basically just learnt how to become a jockey. I rode trackwork for Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast and that’s where I first rode thoroughbreds.
“I’ve been at Lindsay Park for about four months now and I’ve loved it, they’re a class act and I’m trying to learn as much as I can. To be a champion is what I’m here for and I’ll do the best I can.”
Lloyd is required to ride in at least 20 official trials before applying to Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Skills Panel for his racing licence.
Meanwhile, his father, 57, is appealing against a 16-meeting suspension for careless riding incurred aboard Outback Barbie in Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000.
A winner of more than 5,500 races and almost 100 at Group 1 level in a glittering international career, Jeff “The Guvnor” Lloyd continues to dominate racing in Queensland, where he leads the metropolitan premiership with 74 wins this season.
He has been Queensland champion for the past three years – after suffering a stroke in 2013 that threatened to end his career. Last year he announced his imminent retirement, but shows no sign of following through on that.
The Guvnor was South African champion jockey six times and was also hugely successful in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mauritius. He has never won a Durban July, but has been third 11 times and second once – last year on Made To Conquer. – www.racing.com