where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2024-06-15 08:37:30  
South African Born Zac Lloyd get First Grade 1 win

South African Born son of the legendary Jeff Lloyd, Zac Lloyd, had his defining moment in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Years of promise and a rich pedigree culminated in his victory aboard lightweight filly Stefi Magnetica, trained by Bjorn Baker. It was his first Grade 1 win. 

The son of the former South African star jockey, Jeff Lloyd, Zac delivered a masterful performance in the A$3m race, making his father incredibly proud. Durban favourite, Jeff Lloyd, a seasoned jockey himself who would count Greyville as his home turf, hailed his son's triumph as the greatest experience he's ever had on a racetrack, marking the beginning of Zac's Group 1 journey.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Zac admitted he was overcome as soon as he saw his parents after the race, fully realizing the significance of his first Group 1 win.

"It's amazing to get that Group 1 on my resume," Zac Lloyd said. "I've had several great opportunities recently but hadn't capitalized on them. Winning such a big race today is very special. I was confident before the race because she galloped fantastically on Tuesday. My dad and I analyzed the race and felt we had the right horse."

The race unfolded perfectly for Lloyd in the early stages, with Stefi Magnetica settling into a good rhythm. "The first furlong or two went perfect. She was in a good rhythm, she wasn't over-racing," Lloyd explained.

As the race progressed, Lloyd had to make a crucial decision. With horses dropping back in front of him, he opted to take an inside route to avoid traffic. "She was tough. I saw Bella Nipotina and thought that's one horse you don't want to be in a finish with, but she was great," he said.

Jeff Lloyd, initially planning to watch from home, was thrilled he made it to Eagle Farm to witness his son's stellar performance. "It's the most exciting thing I have ever witnessed; my Group 1 wins mean nothing compared to this," he remarked. "I wasn't going to come because I didn't want to sit around all day, but when his other ride got scratched, I thought we'd come for this one race. It's remarkable what he's achieved in just two seasons."

Bjorn Baker missed the event as he was overseas for the wedding of jockey Rachel King and his stable manager, Luke Hilton. Nevertheless, Stefi Magnetica's victory, the first by a three-year-old filly in the Stradbroke in 21 years, was a fitting tribute, with Glen Boss, Private Steer's jockey, in attendance to witness Lloyd's brilliance.

Image Racing Queensland 

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