JEFF NOSE BEST: Banner Season (number one), ridden by top Queensland hoop Jeff Lloyd, wins the @IPSWICHTURFCLUB.COM.AU handicap at Bundamba racetrack last week.
JEFF NOSE BEST: Banner Season (number one), ridden by top Queensland hoop Jeff Lloyd, wins the @IPSWICHTURFCLUB.COM.AU handicap at Bundamba racetrack last week. Rob Williams

Ipswich track master in top form

VETERAN jockey Jeff Lloyd has been in scintillating form in recent times, showing why he continues to hold a lead in the Ipswich Premiership.

Lloyd's lead was maintained last Wednesday as the premier hoop rode odds-on favourite Banner Season for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees to victory in the three-year-old handicap.

This race at Ipswich has served as a lead-up in recent seasons for the major three-year-old races during the carnival.

It will be fascinating to follow the progress of Banner Season.

Lloyd moved to 32 season wins at Ipswich in the week that he surpassed 100 metropolitan winners for the second consecutive season.

Lloyd is the second jockey to reach a tally of 100 wins in a season. The experienced rider has now completed the milestone twice.

This is only a few months away from a proposed retirement for the former Globetrotting hoop.

After moving to South Africa from England as a youngster, Lloyd made a name for himself riding many Group 1 winners.

He then spent time riding around the world, including a successful spell in Hong Kong prior to settling on the Gold Coast around five years ago.

Despite his veteran status, Lloyd has brought a breath of fresh air to the Queensland riding ranks.

There would surely be no one to begrudge Lloyd an Ipswich Premiership win in what looks like being his final season of riding.

With two months of the season remaining, Jim Byrne is second on the ladder after collecting his 26th scalp aboard Felino Bel for Bryan and Daniel Guy.

Praise for Ipswich track

THE Bryan and Daniel Guy stable collected a winning double as well as a close-up second at Ipswich last week to take the training honours for the day.

The Guy stable was successful with Felino Bell and Think Like a Bird ridden by Paul Hammersley.

El Shaday earlier ran second almost giving Hammersley a riding double.

Despite this success for the Guy stable at the meeting prior to the Ipswich Cup, the Guys could not come up with a probable runner on June 16.

This stable has been a great supporter of the Ipswich Turf Club and of the racing industry in general. They have been Ipswich Premier trainers as well as winning and placing in Ipswich Cups over the years.

It was pleasing to hear Guy giving the Ipswich track somewhat of a rap after their win.

Daniel explained that the communication of the improvement project from the Ipswich Turf Club track has been well distributed.

He also suggested that the track on Wednesday raced well with a growing level of cushion being returned to the surface despite some slick times.

The feedback on the Ipswich track was generally positive given the time of the year and the amount of workload that Ipswich, and all South East Queensland tracks, are shouldering.

Big day looms

THE countdown is on to the next historic Ipswich Cup meeting on June 16.

Saturday week's meeting follows Queensland's biggest race, the Stradbroke Handicap, this Saturday.

Tickets are selling fast for the Ipswich Cup.

The track is racing well, and the logistical installation is progressing smoothly with the trademark marquees popping up across the course.

The remaining requisites are fine weather, a full card of nine races, and the famed Ipswich community spirit that shines through year after year in the middle of June at Bundamba.

Look out for a special Ipswich Cup guide in your QT next week.

Next meeting

The time-honoured Ipswich Cup meeting is on June 16.