International jockey Jeff Lloyd has picked up the ride on Xtension in the Dubai World Cup at the expense of top Australian jockey Darren Beadman.
Beadman suffered a broken cheekbone as well as head trauma in a nasty fall in a barrier trial accident at Sha Tin on February 17 and will be out of action longer than expected.
The Melbourne Cup winning jockey initially thought he would only be out for a two to three weeks but is now set to return in six to eight weeks after doctors detected further problems.
Lloyd was set to relocate to the Gold Coast after the Group 1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (2000m) meeting at Sha Tin on March 18 but will now be retained by trainer John Moore to replace Beadman and will remain in Hong Kong until May 6.
Beadman will miss the rich Hong Kong Derby meeting as well as Dubai and the Group 1 US$10m Dubai World Cup (2000m) at Meydan on March 31.
Trainer Paul Messara will also be on the hunt to replace Beadman on his mare Ortensia who is due to run the Group 1 US$1m Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) on World Cup night.
Lloyd has been the regular rider for Xtension with two seconds to top class Hong Kong galloper Ambitious Dragon from his last two starts.
The John Moore trained five year old was second in the Group 1 HK$8 The Stewards Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin on January 29 followed by the Group 1 HK$8 The Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) on February 26.
Doctors have found nerve damage in Beadman’s brain, which has been diagnosed as diffuse axonal injury and has a serious effect on his balance.
Beadman’s recovery is relying on intravenous serum and an operation to insert a steel plate to repair his fractured cheekbone has been put on hold until doctors are happy with his condition.
“The serum treatments regenerate brain tissues and hopefully will repair the damage that is affecting my balance, which is still only so-so.
“The doctor says it will come right, but needs time and especially rest. In three weeks, I’ll have another MRI scan so they can compare it to the previous one and see what progress I’ve made,” Beadman said.
“I’m not going to rush back to riding until I’m 100 per cent. It’s frustrating but there is not a lot I can do about it.”
Beadman has ridden twenty-four winners in Hong Kong this season but will quickly slide down the jockey’s table which is dominated by runaway leader Douglas White who heads the list on sixty-eight ahead of Zac Purton on thirty-six.