Premier Brisbane jockey Jeff Lloyd has been seen at his best in a clever front-running ride on Music Magnate to win the Group Two Victory Stakes.
A runaway leader in this year’s premiership, Lloyd has won many of his races by leading and dictating the pace.
It was exactly what he did aboard Music Magnate who was Luxbet’s $2.50 favon Saturday, letting him stroll through the first 1000 metres of the 1200m-race.
Music Magnate then kicked away in the straight to win by 1-1/4 lengths from Hopfgarten ($5.50) with the same margin to third-placed Miss Cover Girl ($9.50).
The Bjorn Baker-trained gelding will now go on to try to defend the Group One Doomben 10,000 on May 13 before the Group OneKingsford Smith Cup on May 27.
Lloyd said he was sure Music Magnate would benefit from the run which was his first since March 18.
“I think a few horses who ran on that track today will know they have been in a race tomorrow. It was nice to be on a horse which travelled so well and he was able to kick away in the straight,” Lloyd said.
Music Magnate only came to Brisbane at the last minute after Sydney-based Baker debated whether to send him north to run on a wet track.
Baker made the call on Thursday night and sent Music Magnate to Brisbane where the gelding picked up $128,000 for first.
Stable representative Maddie Berkley said Music Magnate would be a major player in the remaining races in the winter.
“But the Doomben 10,000 is his first call and then we can go from there,” she said.
Trainer Robert Heathcote was far from disappointed with the run of Hopfgaten who will press on into the winter.
“The 1200 metres today was short of his best and I thought something else might have put more pressure on the winner. But it was a good run and I think we will head towards the Stradbroke,” Heathcote said.
Kelly Schweida was equally pleased with Miss Cover Girl who ran on strongly at the first run of what will be her last campaign.
“She wasn’t suited by the pace at all. But she tried hard and she will have a couple more runs before she retires,” he said.
Sydney galloper Takedown finished fourth beaten four lengths but his trainer Gary Moore believes the gelding will be a lot fitter in the Doomben 10,000.