Jim Byrne throws out the challenge

Jim Byrne is making a late bid to be QLD Jockey of the Year. PIC Bradley Photos.

Jockey Jim Byrne’s winter carnival form has him throwing out a late challenge to win the Queensland Jockey of the Year award.

The annual Queensland Racing Awards voting begins soon and Jeff Lloyd is probably considered a shoo-in to win the riders’ award for a second time.

But Byrne has been in such great form that he is now likely to get a large number of votes over the premier jockey.

A double at Doomben on Saturday followed by another at the Sunshone Coast a day later gave him 130 Queensland wins and 73 metropolitan victories for the season to be second behind Lloyd in both title races.

Byrne is zeroing in on 1300 career wins in the Brisbane metropolitan area after equalling his own record for the most black-type wins in a Brisbane season.

During the Queensland winter carnival he won two Group One races – Doomben 10,000 (Redzel) and J J Atkins (Capital Gain) – and the Group Two Brisbane Cup (Chocante).

His win on Calanda in the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton was his seventh Listed victory of the season.

Lloyd will still be the short-priced favourite for the jockey award after setting a new metropolitan and Queensland record for winners with 134 and 178 to date.

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