Champion jockey Jeff Lloyd gets his final chance to ride another Group One winner in Brisbane on Invincible Gem in the Tatt’s Tiara.
Lloyd has indicated this year will be his last and Saturday’s Tatt’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben is the final Group One race for the Australian season.
The 57-year-old has had rides in five of the seven Group One races in Brisbane this winter but is yet to finish in the top three.
An internationally recognised jockey, Lloyd’s last Group One winner in Brisbane and Australia was Pear Tart in the 2012 Tatt’s Tiara.
Lloyd has been riding the Kris Lees-trained Invincible Gem in trackwork and rsaid she has been working strongly.
“She seems to be well and Kris is pleased with her. Her run in the Stradbroke was solid,” he said.
Invincible Gem is following what has become a traditional path for Tiara winners by coming through the Group One Stradbroke Handicap at her last start in which she ran ninth.
She is an $11 chance in the Tiara with three-year-old Stradbroke placegetter Champagne Cuddles continuing to hold sway at $5.50.
Lloyd begins an eight-day suspension on Saturday night and will ride in his native South Africa late next month when he hopes to capture his first Durban July at Greyville.
“It’s a race I have been trying to win it for more than 40 years,” he said.
The suspension and trip will have no impact on Lloyd winning the metropolitan and state premierships as he has a stranglehold on both.
Lloyd says he will not make a decision on his retirement date until he returns from South Africa.
“When I know myself, I will let you know,” he said.
He shows no signs of slowing down and made the four-hour round trip to Caloundra on Tuesday to ride in the barrier trials for trainer David Vandyke.
Lloyd rode two winners on promising two-year-olds Miss Frangipani and Asharani.
He also rode Extrema, a son of former top mare Streama, who ran last in his trial.