Legendary jockey Jeff Lloyd is set to go out with the proverbial bang on Saturday when calls time on his career with a near full book of rides at Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane, Australia.
Lloyd announced last month he would retire on July 13, ending 40 years of riding that has included more than 90 Group 1 wins around the world.
Lloyd will have rides for Toby Edmonds (Sunday Session and Granny Red Shoes), Chris Waller (Auerbach), Tony Gollan (Kemsrey), Chris Munce (Woolsey), Kris Lee (Mongolian Wolf), Richard Laming (All Hard Wood).
“They have all supported me and it is a good to have a ride for them on my final day,” he said.
“It is a good lot of rides and I would naturally like to go out on a winning note.”
Lloyd, 58, is one of the great comeback stories in racing.
South African-born Lloyd was renowned in his homeland as well as the tough schools of Hong Kong and Sydney before moving to Queensland in 2012.
However, he suffered a stroke at a Sunshine Coast race meeting in March 2013 and missed more than a year of riding.
It would have been easy for Lloyd to retire but he was determined he wanted his two sons to see him ride at his best.
Since returning he has won three Queensland metropolitan premierships with a fourth in his keeping well before Saturday.
He has ridden 560 winners in that time, set a metropolitan record of 137 in a season and became the oldest jockey to win the metropolitan premiership.
Lloyd announced last year he would retire and set Saturday as the farewell date at the start of the winter carnival.
He intends to devote his time to helping his boys become professional jockeys.
“It is on to a new chapter in my life,” he said.
Come Saturday, trainer Toby Edmonds is responsible for two of Lloyd’s best rides.
The Guv, as Lloyd is affectionately called, struck up a successful partnership with Edmonds when he first arrived in Queensland eight years ago and teamed to win the Magic Million Classic with Houtzen in 2017.
Edmonds has booked Lloyd for Sunday Session in the Benchmark 70 Handicap and Granny Red Shoes in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap.
“It would be great to train a winner for Jeff on his final day and I think it would be vice versa for him wanting to ride a winner for me,” Edmonds said.
“He’s had a great career and we’ve had a lot of success together over the years.
“He deserves a good retirement and a safe final day.”
Lloyd can cap his retirement with an incredible statistic: one more metropolitan win at Doomben will be his 400th since returning to riding after suffering a stroke. – racing.com, AAP, racenet.com