In a sport where bloodlines can so often determine success, aspiring jockey Jaden Lloyd has a pedigree that will carry him a long way.
The son of champion rider Jeff Lloyd admits his path into the saddle hasn’t been an orthodox one but, after riding in his first set of official trials at Tatura on Monday, he’s as driven as ever to follow in the footsteps of his champion father.
A winner of more than 5500 races and almost 100 at Group 1 level during a glittering international career, Jeff Lloyd continues to dominate racing in Queensland, where he leads the metropolitan premiership with 74 wins this season.
His 17-year-old son, who joined Lindsay Park earlier this year and was inducted into Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program in March, has always idolised his father but said he only recently entertained the idea of becoming a jockey, having initially believed he would grow too heavy.
“Early on I wanted to become a trainer, I thought I was going to be too heavy to be a jockey,” Lloyd said.
“At about age 14 I thought I might as well give this jockey thing a go.
“I didn’t go down the traditional route with ponies or anything, I basically just learnt how to become a jockey, I rode trackwork for Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast and that’s where I first rode thoroughbreds.
“I’ve been at Lindsay Park for about four months now and I’ve loved it, they’re a class act and I’m trying to learn as much as I can.
“To be a champion is what I’m here for and I’ll do the best I can.”
Lloyd is required to ride in at least 20 official trials before applying to Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Skills Panel for his licence to ride in races.
Meanwhile, his father is expected to appeal a 16 meeting suspension for careless riding incurred aboard Outback Barbie in Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000.
As it stands, the 57-year-old will miss several Group 1 meetings, including the Kingsford Smith Cup and the Queensland Oaks meetings.