Ageless Veteran Lloyd Lobbies for Houtzen in The Everest
With well above 3,000 rides since first riding the Kiwi horse Hoeberg to a Group 1 race on South African turf in 2001, Jeff Lloyd has had just the one job for the past 16 years, so it is safe to say that he knows one or more things about horses.
He will ride Houtzen the The Everest at Randwick on October 14 and has recently said that he will not wind up regretting convincing Houtzen’s connections to use their slot for her.
Lloyd has done most of his Australian racing at Doomben, but he has almost 200 at Royal Randwick, so taking the reins of Houtzen for the richest turf race in the world will not be anything with which he is not intimately familiar.
He rode Houtzen to a win recently in the 1200 m Simpson Construction Scarborough Stakes at Moonee Valley and proceeded to campaign trainer Toby Edmonds that Houtzen was a legitimate contender for The Everest.
“I really stuck my neck out when I spoke to Toby and the owners after the race and told them I had a lot of confidence in her going to The Everest,” Lloyd said.
Houtzen should run well with only 51 kg in The Everest, five kg less than she carried in the Scarborough Stakes.
Lloyd will be on short rations in the lead-up to the Everest. He has dropped for 54 to 52.5 so far and gave assurances that the final 1.5 he needs to shed will not be an issue.
“People forget that I used to ride at 50.5kg when I was in Hong Kong, and my weight has only gone up since I’ve been in Australia,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd was vague on the tactics that will be used aboard Houtzen in The Everest. Houtzen will be near the lead, but she does not have to lead to win, claims Lloyd.
“She is not just a tearaway leader and she is not one-dimensional, it will all depend how the track is playing on the day,” Lloyd said.
Bookmakers and punters are not as convinced as is Lloyd. She currently carries a $34 quote from Ladbrokes, above only Tulip and Fell Swoop.