With two-thirds of the season all but completed, the Brisbane Apprentices Jockey Premiership remains on a knife-edge in a two-cornered contest between Jaden Lloyd and Kyle Wilson-Taylor.
Not only are they locked together on the Premiership ladder … Lloyd has thirty-nine winners to Wilson-Taylor’s thirty-eight-and-a-half winners … but their overall statistics rate very close together in terms of number rides, number of firsts and seconds, win and place percentages as well as the prize-money earned by their mounts which, impressively, have already passed the $2 million barrier for both riders.
Lloyd has been out on suspension since March 20, during which time Wilson-Taylor has reeled in three invaluable winners in the Premiership chase to narrow the gap on Lloyd to that mere half-a-win.
Although Lloyd is still out of action … he can resume riding this Saturday … Wilson-Taylor will also not be riding at the Metropolitan meeting at Doomben on Wednesday as he will be in Melbourne representing Queensland in the National Apprentice Jockey’s Race Series.
Both of these riders are expected to be back in action at Eagle Farm on Saturday where it will again be ‘game on’ with the arm wrestle likely to continue for much of the remainder of the season.
Putting Lloyd and Wilson-Taylor’s efforts so far this season into further positive perspective is the fact that they currently sit fourth and fifth in the overall, open Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership, just nine-and-a-half and ten winners respectively behind the Premiership leader Jim Byrne.
Lloyd is currently attached to the powerful Steven O’Dea / Matt Hoysted stable while Wilson-Taylor is with Kelly Schweida.
Wilson-Taylor’s win aboard Slow Hands last Saturday was a particularly satisfying one being his first for his current boss, which is always an important win.
“It was unreal,” said Wilson-Taylor, taking up the story of that race.
“Our plan was to get to the outside. Kelly just said, get to the outside. I sort of took a gamble going down the back straight. The horse inside me wasn’t travelling particular well, and I had the opportunity to get onto the back of the favourite.
“I did that, and that horse then went to go wide and the split came near the fence and we took it and went straight through and he won very well, which was great.”
And, as far as the Premiership is concerned?
“There’s obviously still a long way to go,” said Wilson Taylor, “but I think competition is good for racing … and it is good for both of us.
“Jaden and I are pushing each other to be better … and you can see it in both of our riding. I think our riding is improving each week.”
Two young guns given it all they have got … while also keeping the senior jockeys on their toes.
Suffice to say, the state of the riding ranks in South-East Queensland is in very good shape.