Lloyd chalks up testing win on Beckham

Leading jockey Jeff Lloyd rode his 73rd metropolitan winner of the season on Beckham and promptly declared it his most challenging.

Beckham ($3.50) slogged through the Eagle Farm mud on Saturday running 39.36 seconds for his last 600m in the Caltex Open (1400m).

In the end, he had 2-3/4 lengths on Our Boy Nicholas ($9) and 1-3/4 lengths on Trubia ($4), which shot to a big lead on the home turn, in third place.

The Eagle Farm track was rated a soft 5 on Saturday morning but continuing rain made it heavy by the early afternoon.

On a dry track, the winner would be expected to run about 33.5 second to 34 seconds.

“It wasn’t just testing the horses’ fitness but the jockeys’,” Lloyd said.

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“It really was tough and I was worried we wouldn’t get past Trubia in the straight but in the end we got there.

“I think the fact he had run at 1500m at his previous start made the difference. He was fit and up to the challenge.”

The win gave Lloyd a 3.5 winners lead over Jim Byrne in the jockeys’s premiership.

Trainer Liam Birchley said Beckham would chase more wins in open company in the coming weeks.

“He has been most consistent and had a couple of good runs in the winter. But he was on the minimum today and we will have to see what type of weights he gets from now,” Birchley said.

Beckham is a beautifully bred stallion by Pins out of top mare Glamour Puss.

“It would be good to get some more black type to add to his value as a sire,” Birchley said.

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