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Newly minted G1 rider to continue kicking career goals

Darren Beadman believes Zac Lloyd is ready to take his career to the next level after the apprentice's Group One breakthrough aboard Stefi Magnetica in the Stradbroke Handicap.

The former champion jockey has been one of Lloyd's mentors during the junior hoop's internship at Godolphin, there to congratulate him for the highs and help him navigate the disappointments.

Lloyd joins the Group 1 club aboard Stefi Magnetica; picture Racing Queensland/Michael McInally

Last season's champion Sydney apprentice, Lloyd spent months watching on as close friends and fellow young jockeys Tyler Schiller and Dylan Gibbons captured majors, wondering when his turn would come. It arrived at his 22nd attempt with a brilliant steer aboard the Bjorn Baker-trained Stefi Magnetica in Queensland's most prestigious race and a proud Beadman predicts Lloyd's career will soar off the back of it.

"He has sustained the pressure well right from the get-go," Beadman said of Lloyd. "It's not easy to be riding at the level he is riding at with no claim and still be in the top five or six [in the Sydney premiership]. That speaks volumes.

"Sometimes you just over-try in those big races when you start to have a few rides and not get the results. As I explained to him, racing does involve ability, but it's more about your mental approach to it.

"It was a very deserving win and that just might be the wind in the sails that he needs."

With 53-1/2 metropolitan victories this season, Lloyd is sixth on the Sydney jockeys' premiership, less than three wins behind fifth-placed Tommy Berry.

Beadman has seen a gradual and positive shift in Lloyd's mental approach and decision making under pressure and feels privileged to have been able to contribute advice based on his own experiences.

"There are a lot of peaks and troughs mentally and I've been fortunate enough to be able to work him through it and help him through it because I've been there and done that as a rider myself," Beadman said.

"I'm sure other people have helped him in that area too. It's very much a mental game and that's where it sorts the wheat from the chaff."

Lloyd has been straight back to work this week with rides at the NSW provincial and midweek metropolitan meetings and has a book of six mounts at Randwick on Saturday. Among them is Setombe for Godolphin in the James Squire Handicap (1300m), a highly-strung filly who will require a focused ride.

"When Ashley Morgan won on her, he rode her a twelve out of ten and she won with a lot of authority," Beadman said. "She drew soft and was able to get into a nice position with no push, no pull.

"She is a nice filly going places. But you've got to work with her, [as] she doesn't work with you."

Setombe is a $9.50 chance while stablemate Kerguelen, to be partnered by James McDonald, is an even-money favourite for the same race. The latter arrives under a weight of expectation after demolishing his rivals by 9-1/2 lengths on debut at Kembla Grange.

Kerguelen missed his next run due to a wash-out, instead kept up to the mark with a barrier trial, and Beadman said he was an exciting young horse who faced an interesting challenge.

"It's a big thing to go to a benchmark 72 second start in a race — that's the biggest question mark," Beadman said. "He's got a lot of upside, so we will see where the water level ends up with him on Saturday."

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