Former Brisbane-based apprentice and son of a gun Zac Lloyd is going from the hospital bed to the penthouse in a matter of weeks as he prepares to start working for Godolphin following a move to Sydney this week.
The son of legendary jockey Jeff, Lloyd is looking to make his mark in Sydney after being picked up by the powerhouse operation, led by trainer James Cummings.
Lloyd says he is looking to replicate what James McDonald did after he first moved to Australia from New Zealand, by working with Darren Beadman, who plays a major role at Godolphin
“He is very good at helping jockeys out, he helped James McDonald out when he came over from New Zealand so I’m going to ask him everything and hopefully pick his brain,” Lloyd, who expects to start riding in New South Wales on Thursday, said.
“Its full time, so I’m hoping to ride well and people like me, I want to stay here for as long as possible.
“Obviously Sydney racing is nearly the best in the world at the moment so I thought I’d give myself an opportunity to succeed, and that opportunity came up with Godolphin.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure but I could be their first (apprentice), it is a huge operation and I’m privileged to be their apprentice.”
Incredibly, Lloyd recently found himself on the sidelines for a prolonged period following a mystery virus, which he says had him on his “death bed.”
“Three weeks ago I went to Melbourne for a few days, I’m not sure if it was the cold air or what, but when I came back I picked up a really bad virus and it put me in hospital for a week,” he said.
“I felt like I was on my deathbed for about two weeks, it was really bad but I’m lucky I’m good again now. They didn’t really know much about it, it was just one of those bad ones that get around.”
Lloyd says the Godolphin opportunity came about during a five-week suspension, which saw him travel to Sydney in the hope of some work.
“I wanted to get my name out down here a bit and I had a connection with Annabel Neasham, who trains at Warwick Farm, so I came down and did some stuff for her for two weeks and she was really good to me and put me on in trials,” he said.
“I spoke to a lot of people and got my name out there, I really liked it so it was a matter of finding the right stable and as it turned out James Cummings and Godolphin were happy to take me on.”