Robbie Fradd’s decision to take up a contract in Mauritius will leave a major hole in the Queensland riding ranks.
Fradd leaves on Monday night and will start riding in Mauritius on Saturday for his contracted trainer Gilbert Rousset.
It is the biggest stable in Mauritius where the sport attracts huge crowds to its once a week meetings.
The jockey has been planning the move for some time but wanted to keep it quiet until the contract had been finalised.
His announcement at the Gold Coast on Saturday caught several trainers by surprise and they will have to find new riders for the upcoming carnival meetings.
Fradd, 54, has been one of the hardest working jockeys in Queensland and also northern NSW.
He has ridden 99-1/2 winners on all tracks for the season from 446 rides and is second to Jeff Lloyd on the Brisbane metropolitan premiership.
He was the premier jockey in Mauritius when he rode there about 20 years ago.
Fradd expects to be missing from Brisbane until late this year.
“I enjoyed riding there at a recent international invitation meeting and it is exciting if not a bit scary to be going back full time,” he said.
Fradd’s last ride in Australia for the time being was a winning one on Anatola in Saturday’s Listed Silk Stocking in which he replaced the injured Josh Parr.