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Lloyd keen to cut to The Chase With Gently Rolled

3 minute read

Jockey Zac Lloyd is keen to see what emerging mare Gently Rolled can do if she’s got something to chase at Rosehill on Saturday.

Jockey : ZAC LLOYD.
Jockey : ZAC LLOYD. Picture: Steve Hart

The Bryce Heys-trained mare was able to adapt to being out of her comfort zone in her second-up win at Randwick, in some part due to a small field, and while she proved too good Lloyd feels she'll be even better if she's not left in front 350m out.

But he says it's good to know, given he's only had the one race ride on Gently Rolled, she can cope if she finds herself in that scenario in the Kia Ora Handicap (1300m).

"She got to the front very early at the top of the straight and to me she felt like she just floated,'' Zac Lloyd said.

"So it's promising going forward if she has a horse to chase you'll see an even better Gently Rolled.

"She's a very nice mare and she'll only improve with racing because she's only lightly raced. A good barrier will help her a lot and she could land in a similar position."

Heys did accept with Gently Rolled in the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes over the same trip but elected to keep her in benchmark grade for now.

Lloyd said it will be interesting to see how the race will unfold for the four-year-old, $3.40 with TAB on Thursday, because we all know backmarkers need a lot more to go their way than horses that can make their own luck.

"You need a horse that can put themselves in a race to give them an easier task than drop out the back,'' he said.

"It'll be a good test with a bigger field to see if she's got enough speed. But you don't like to get them out of their comfort zone because Bryce trains them to sprint hard the last 400m.

"Wherever she's happy I'll let her be, whether that's box seat or midfield or a touch worse than that."

Lloyd is expecting a fitter Marquess to step out in the Yarraman Park Handicap (1400m) and he's hoping that extra steam can offset a drop in distance after he chased Amor Victorious over the Randwck mile first-up.

While he comfortably held second, Lloyd said when the winner picked up the tempo he was left without an answer and Marquess noticeably tired with 100m to go.

"A mile first-up might have been a touch testing against a hard fit horse like Amor Victorious but I thought he acquitted himself well,'' he said.

"It was a leader dominated race and it was going to be near impossible to run down Amor Victorious with the lead he had.

"The long, sustained, sprint that he put on at the 500m just caught up with him late."

Trainer James Cummings said he was satisfied with the gelding's first-up performance and with the run under his belt and a light weight he hopes Lloyd can put Marquess somewhere near the speed.

"It was a just a bit too much to do first-up over a mile for Marquess, but it was as good as I could have hoped for the horse to perform first-up over 1600m,'' Cummings said.

"Perhaps with that added match practice he might be able to fight this one out more so than last week when he couldn't reel in the match-fit horse of Bjorn Baker's."

Zac Lloyd on Cuban Granchico (race 1): "He won two races a couple of preps ago where he led and he sort of lost that speed which is unfortunate because he's such a big horse and being in the ruck and giving him a task is not suitable for him. He's a horse that needs to be up on the speed and bowling along. If he can just show that same speed and put himself there I'm sure he'll race very well again because he beat a nice horse in Sweysive."

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