Jockey Jeff Lloyd’s plum rides on Magic Millions favourites Houtzen and Winning Rupert

Jeff Lloyd and Winning Rupert romp home in the Vo Rogue Plate at Eagle Farm. Photo: Trackside Photography

Jeff Lloyd and Winning Rupert romp home in the Vo Rogue Plate at Eagle Farm. Photo: Trackside Photography



LEADING jockey Jeff Lloyd says riding both $2 million feature race favourites to victory at the Magic Millions on Saturday would be the pinnacle of his ­illustrious career.

The Gold Coaster, who is working through a shoulder complaint, will be the envy of most other jockeys this week as he prepares to ride unbeaten favourites Houtzen and Winning Rupert in the 2YO Classic and 3YO Guineas respectively.

“It’s just worked out that way. It’s nice to get rides in the races and I have got two genuine, nice horses,” Lloyd said.

“They are both really good so I’m lucky.”

The 55-year-old has ridden Group 1 winners in South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, including the 2008 Australian ATC Derby.

But he said claiming the double this weekend would eclipse anything he had done.

“Both races are really world-class races and it would rate among the highest, of course,” Lloyd said.

“In Australian terms, it’s enormous and if it’s enormous in Australia then it’s enormous worldwide. It would obviously be the pinnacle of my career.”

Lloyd believed his vast experience would help him overcome the pressure of expectation that comes with riding two favourites at Australia’s richest race day.

“I don’t worry about pressure. I’ve been in the game long enough not to worry about that,” Lloyd said.

“I know they are prepared well for the race, I know they are good horses.

“They will either be good enough or they won’t. I can’t do anything else about them.”

The only thing that could cause nervous tension for Lloyd is knowing that his winning percentage for two victories would be $120,000.

“That’s the least of my problems. I don’t worry about money,” Lloyd said.

“If I started seeing what I’d get I’d start to get nervous. I’d rather not know.”

Lloyd will see his chiropractor today and has declared he will be spot-on for Magic Millions day despite being stood down for a sore shoulder at the Sunshine Coast yesterday.

The jockey rode in just one race yesterday before relinquishing the rest of his mounts.

Lloyd receives regular treatment on his right shoulder but explained he hadn’t been able to do that over the holiday ­period and the problem flared at the weekend.

“My chiropractor, whenever it’s a little bit out, he fixes it. Being over Christmas, he hasn’t been there, so I haven’t had any treatment for three weeks,” Lloyd said.

“I can just feel that it’s not right and a bit sore. I rode one race with painkillers and I knew if I carried on I might do more damage than good, so I thought I would rather be safe than sorry.”

Lloyd expects to ride at Eagle Farm on Wednesday and again at Doomben on Friday ahead of his Magic Millions day commitments.


Story courtesy Tom Boswell – Gold Coast Bulletin


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