Premiership-winning jockey Jeff Lloyd has put his years of experience in rating tracks to help score his first win of the new season at Eagle Farm.
Lloyd was shuffled back to last on the fence aboard the heavily backed Panno Rossa ($2.90) before surging home to win the Country Music Race Day Open Handicap (2230m) on Saturday.
The inside at Eagle Farm has generally been a no-go zone for jockeys since the rebuilt track was reopened in June, but Lloyd says he had no hesitation in staying along the fence when most of the other runners went wide.
“I have noticed the inside has been OK for the first few races at Eagle Farm but as the day goes on you have to get wider,” he said.
Lloyd won last season’s premiership with 80 winners but missed the first few meetings of the season due to suspension.
Panno Rossa has been a great money-spinner for trainer Kelly Doughty, who has had him for only his past five starts.
“He has won three and been runner-up twice for us but should have won both those seconds,” Doughty said.
“We will have to keep him at open company because he is going to get big weights in restricted class.
“I only ran him today because he would have got 60kg in a restricted race next week and he got 54kg in an open today.”
The 2014 Ipswich Cup winner Brave Ali ran his best race for some time in finishing second, beaten by three-quarters of a length.
“He just kept giving in the straight so there is still some life left in the old boy,” jockey Tegan Harrison said.