Early birds find value in Lloyd line-up
Jeff Lloyd went agonisingly close to landing the Jockey Challenge at Happy Valley last Wednesday, and the South African veteran is in demand in early trading for the all-dirt meeting at Sha Tin tonight.
Lloyd opened at $6.50 but was soon shaved down to $6 as astute punters jumped on the value man in the market, making him the clear third pick behind favourites Matthew Chadwick ($2.75) and Douglas Whyte ($3.15).
The top four riders in the market, including Brett Prebble ($7), all have a full book of eight rides, giving them a distinct advantage in the point-score event, but Lloyd has a solid roster that makes him the jockey to be followed.
Plot Ratio, Be Grateful, Vital Smart and More Lucky are all capable of getting the ball rolling in the opening half of the card, and an early win will give Lloyd plenty of momentum going into the back half of the meeting.
The Tony Cruz-trained Splendid Champion is an enigmatic gelding and capable of an upset in race five, but it is Lloyd's finishing treble of King Of Hearts, Ming Hoi Glory and Flashing Aura which bode well for his Challenge supporters.
Last-start winner Ming Hoi Glory looks the pick of his book, and the John Moore-trained gelding will prove enormously hard to topple from the inside gate over his pet distance.