Champion jockey hopes to trot out island triumphs
Former South African champion jockey Jeff Lloyd will be the star attraction at the International Challenge in Mauritius this weekend with two days of racing planned for the Champ De Mars track.
Durban-born Lloyd, 56, can still teach his rivals a trick or two and won his second Queensland jockeys title in September and received his trophy at a banquet in Brisbane.
It has been a remarkable comeback story for Lloyd, who suffered a stroke a few years ago. He has bounced back with determination to once again compete at the highest level.
A year ago, Lloyd hit the headlines after booting home seven winners on the 12-race card at Corbould Park — the first jockey to achieve this feat in Australian racing history.
Another former top South African jockey, Robbie Fradd, who unlike Lloyd has had a win in the Durban July, also makes the trip to the holiday island and will be hoping to draw some plum rides.
France is well-represented with two outstanding riders in Mickael Barzalona and Maxime Guyon, while former top female jockey Hayley Turner will represent the UK and Matthew Chadwick Hong Kong.
Zackey has built up an excellent relationship with the daughter of Tiger Ridge
The South African representative is Craig Zackey, who flies to Mauritius in high spirits having won Sunday’s Grade2 Ipi Tombe Challenge at Turffontein on Mike de Kock’s star mare Nother Russia.
Zackey has built up an excellent relationship with the daughter of Tiger Ridge and Sunday was his fourth 2017 success on the five-year-old.
Most racing enthusiasts will be hoping Nother Russia makes the trip to the Cape in January to contest the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1,600m — the same distance as last Sunday’s race.
The Vaal hosts its second meeting of the week on Wednesday and Gavin Lerena — out of luck in Sunday’s Sansui Summer Cup — should get back among the winners on the eight-race card.
Lerena partners Cathedral County for trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren in the fifth race and his mount may have most to fear from the De Kock inmate Marmook, who has Anthony Delpech in the saddle.
Delpech was in hot form at Turffontein on Sunday, winning the Investec Dingaans on Monk Hood, the Racing Association Handicap on Fortissima and going desperately close on Geoff Woodruff’s filly Bi-Pot in the Ipi Tombe Challenge.
Bi-Pot’s great effort — receiving just 2kg from Nother Russia — suggests she might have had a hand in the finish of the Summer Cup had she been invited.
Lerena rides Miss Bulsara for the Woodruff stable in the final leg of the jackpot and this well-related filly has a sound each-way chance against Just A Jet and Dalley.