Champion jockey Jeff Lloyd, who returned to South Africa in 2018 in a final bid to win the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July, will ride in his final racemeeting on Saturday.
Starting with his first ride aboard the aptly named So Humble in the 1978 Rothmans July, where he finished 3rd, he filled that frustrating position on a further ten occasions in Africa’s greatest race before going second on Made To Conquer last year.
On Saturday he will have rides for Toby Edmonds (Sunday Session and Granny Red Shoes), Chris Waller (Auerbach), Tony Gollan (Kemsrey), Chris Munce (Woolsey), Kris Lees (Mongolian Wolf) and Richard Laming (All Hard Wood) at Doomben.
“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.”
Jeff was born in the UK on 1 September 1961. His family settled in SA in 1973 and he joined the SA Jockey Academy in 1975 under the tutelage of Cyril Buckham, David Cave and Vince Curtis.
Lloyd was renowned in his adoptive 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 jockeys’ 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.