Veteran jockey Lloyd weighs up retirement

Jeff Lloyd
Jockey Jeff Lloyd says he is likely to retire from riding towards the end of 2018.

Jeff Lloyd hopes to end his career on a high with another Brisbane premiership after the veteran rider admitted he’s close to retirement.

The reigning Brisbane jockeys’ title holder, who feared his riding career was over when he suffered a stroke in 2013, said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“It’s great I can retire at the top of my level and still riding very well,” the 56-year-old told Sky Sports Radio.

“I have not set a date, I am not sure if it will be at the end of the season, at the end of the year”.

Lloyd’s oldest son Jaden is following in his father’s footsteps as a member of the South African Jockey Academy, while his youngest son Zac wants to finish high school in Australia and hopes to start riding trackwork soon.

“I just want to focus more on them,” Lloyd said.

Currently leading the Brisbane jockeys’ table, Lloyd said he still felt fresh and physically capable, but the mental side of riding was taking its toll.

“I just find it very draining trying to win titles. You want to throw everything into it and that’s very mentally tiring.”

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He said his wife Nicola also found it taxing.

“She’s looking forward to the day,” he said of his impending retirement.

Lloyd has bright prospects to extend his premiership lead with a full complement of nine rides at Saturday’s metropolitan-class Gold Coast meeting.

Four of his mounts are early favourites, including the promising galloper Doubt Defying ($3.50) in the Gold Coast Stakes over 1800m.

Lloyd has had huge success in Australia, Hong Kong and South Africa, but in March, 2013 he suffered a stroke which affected the movement on his left side.

He wants his sons to know that if they follow in his footsteps there will be more lows than highs.

“They need to realise what a hard sport it is,” he said.

With the winter carnival approaching in Brisbane, Lloyd wants to finish up in the best possible way

“It would be great to try and finish off an a nice horse and do something in the carnival,” he said.