JOCKEY Jeff Lloyd edged further ahead in the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership on a day when Australia’s controversial whip rules were in the spotlight again.
The 55-year-old former South African, who collapsed after suffering a stroke in 2012 and doubted whether he would ride again, claimed a winning quartet at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday.
Lloyd’s fabulous foursome on Snow Fields, Dream Choice, Dame Destiny and Angel Dancer took him to 71 metropolitan winners for the season.
With six metro meetings to go in the season, it stretched Lloyd’s lead over apprentice James Orman (66) and last season’s riding champion Jim Byrne (65.5).
Lloyd has ridden more than 5000 winners around the world, including 95 Group 1s, and his comeback from ill health has been nothing short of remarkable.
But it wasn’t even close to Lloyd’s best day in the saddle. “My best effort was to win seven races in a day, on two occasions in South Africa,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd also found himself at the centre of controversy as drama over jockey whip rules flared again. The veteran jockey rode Dream Choice to victory but second-placed Jim Byrne (Upstart Pride) fired in a whip protest, claiming Lloyd had hit his mount too many times.
The protest was quickly thrown out, despite Byrne insisting that rival Lloyd had influenced the result by hitting his mount three times more than allowable under the rules of racing.
“He (Lloyd) made up 3/4 length by breaching the rule, there is no chance he would have caught me if he hadn’t,” Byrne claimed.
Lloyd was later fined $300 for flouting the whip rule but it certainly didn’t diminish a great day in the saddle for the ageless warrior.
He has never won the Brisbane title and is keen to keep the young guns at bay. “It is always good to ride winners and I just want to keep riding more and more winners,” Lloyd said.
-extracted from Couriermail.com.au, report by Ben Dorries.
-Photo: Lloyd on Dame Destiny (Darren England).