Jockey Jeff Lloyd will make his return to Australian racing at Doomben on Saturday, setting up his new base at the Gold Coast.
The South African jockey leaves Hong Kong after a three year stint and has ridden twenty-six winners this season in a tough competitive riding environment.
Lloyd, who has ridden over 4,500 winners including ninety Group 1s, acquitted himself well when riding in Sydney before his last Hong Kong venture finishing fourth in the jockey’s premiership.
The International jockey wants to maintain his high level of riding and has linked up with the powerful Patinack Farm stable.
“I’m here to compete at the highest level and do my best and I’ve got no thoughts of living here in semi-retirement,” Lloyd said.
“I want to ride at all the major carnivals. My plan is to ride trackwork for Patinack Farm as well as at the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.”
“It’s good to be back. I’ve been away for three years after riding for 18 months in Sydney.”
Lloyd has picked up six rides at Doomben on Saturday including the Jeff Lynds trained Booming in the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m).
“I don’t know much about Booming but I’ll be doing my homework and I’ll look at his videos,” Lloyd said.
Booming hasn’t won a race since taking out his second Group 1 victory in the NZ$150,000 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 20, 2011 after scoring his initial Group 1 win in the NZ$160,000 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on December 26, 2010.
Lloyd’s other rides include Rocksan for Toby Edmonds in the Group 3 $175,000 Hidden Dragon The Roses (2000m), and four for Patinack Farm trainer John Thompson including last start Gold Coast winner Boys On Tour in the Group 3 $125,000 Ascend Sales Fred Best Classic (1350m) for three year olds.
Lynds has picked out the Group 2 $250,000 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) on June 2 and the Group 2 $300,000 Australian Special Metals Brisbane Cup (2400m) on June 9, both at Eagle Farm for Booming after Saturday’s Doomben Cup.
The New Zealand trainer gave Booming a start at Awapuni when he resumed for a fourth over 1600m in the Listed Anzac Handicap on April 25 at his first run since finishing fourth to Shez Sinsational in the Group 1 NZ$500,000 Stella Artois Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on March 7.
“It was a really fantastic run in the Auckland Cup. He was three-wide all the way then had to come 10-wide on the home turn and he still finished fourth,” Lynds said.
“He’s a handy competitor between 2000 and 2400 metres and he’s proven at weight-for-age.”
Booming is currently at $31 in the Doomben Cup market with the Robert Heathcote trained Triple Honour, a long way down the order which has Peter Moody’s Manighar favourite at $2.50 ahead of Shez Sinsational at $5.