Newly Brisbane-based jockey Jeff Lloyd is excited about the coming week and his book of rides across New South Wales including the mount on the John Thompson-trained Shamardashing in the 2012 Grafton Cup on Thursday.
South African-bred Lloyd recently returned from a stint riding in Hong Kong and has had no trouble picking up the rides on a number of promising chances in the Sydney black types.
He will compete in the Clarence River Jockey Club’s $1 million July Carnival starting with five rides on today’s program including Thompson’s last start Eye Liner Stakes fourth placegetter at Ipswich Prost in the $150,000 Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m).
“He had no excuses from the barrier last start (fourth behind Belltone), he had a good run right through the field, the track was a little soft, which I don’t think he enjoys, so it was a good outcome,” Lloyd, 50, said of Prost in the Eye Liner.
“Depending on how the track is, if they get the predicted rain it won’t suit him, otherwise I was more than happy with his last run.”
Prost is rated a $7.50 chance in the markets at bookmaker.com.au that are now led by the improving Howmuchdoyouloveme ($2.60) after early favourite Magic Cassius was one of the four early scratchings from the field.
Lloyd will then return to Grafton on Thursday for the big one, his four ride assault headlined by Shamardashing in the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m).
Grafton Cup odds are currently led by surprise favourite Southern Shimmer ($3) while Shamardal five-year-old Shamardashing follows closely in the markets on $3.20.
Known mudlark Shamardashing will be out for their first stakes victory in the Grafton Cup, the gelding last seen running a close fourth to Ginga Dude in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 23.
While thriving in the wet their Tatt’s Cup effort was on a Dead (4) proving to Lloyd, who was in the saddle last start, that they were a genuine chance on any ground.
“He likes it soft, he ran well on a track that wasn’t soft last start,” the veteran hoop said.
“He showed he is still holding his form, his run prior to that was very disappointing but his last run was good.
“He didn’t get much luck, he couldn’t get in, he had a wide run the whole race and still managed to run well so it was very encouraging.
“If he can bring that run forward then he will be a big chance.”
Following the action at Grafton Lloyd will then head to Warwick Farm on Saturday where his super week will cap off with the ride aboard the Gillian Heinrich-trained Startsmeup in the $100,000 Listed Winter Stakes (1400m).
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