After the release of the 2014 Melbourne Cup nominations this afternoon it has been revealed that goliath owner Lloyd Williams could have as many as 12 runners in this year’s field for the world’s richest handicap.
One of the country’s most prolific racehorse owner, Williams boasts a quartet of wins in the iconic Flemington Race 7 having been behind Melbourne Cup winners Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and most recently the imported Green Moon in 2012.
Last year Williams, and his private trainer Robert Hickmott, saddled-up an imposing six chances in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Williams and Hickmott’s 2013 Melbourne Cup runners were: Fawkner (6th), Seville (12th), Sea Moon (13th), Mourayan (15th), Masked Marvel (18th) and the defending Melbourne Cup champ Green Moon who could only manage to run 21 in the 24-starter field.
This year all bar Mourayan and Seville are in the mix again featuring in the 2014 Melbourne Cup nominations.
Also of note for Williams is Almandin, the stallion having defeated subsequent Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) winner and Melbourne Cup-bound German galloper Protectionist when winning the Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehmer (2212m) at the start of June.
The lightly-raced son of Monson has had just the four starts to date and that Group 2 was his breakthrough win, Almandin also nominated for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and The Metropolitan with options open down under this season.
The team’s other hopes are then: Amralah, Foundry, Hartani, Massiyn, Shikarpour, The United States and Thought Worthy.
The best fancied of Williams’ current Melbourne Cup horses is last year’s sixth past the post Fawkner, winner of the Group 1 Caulfield Cup the run before last spring.
Also well liked in futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au from the stable is Sea Moon and below we take a look at Williams’ top two chances at securing a fifth ‘Loving Trophy’.
7yo Bay or Brown Gelding
D.O.B: 04 October 2007
By Reset from Dane Belltar
Min/Max Dist. Wins: 1400/2400m
Pre-Nom Melbourne Price: $26
Nominated for all the majors again this spring this ageing stayer enjoyed a stellar spring in Melbourne last year with a Turnbull Stakes third to Happy Trails, Caulfield Cup win over Dandino and a credible sixth in the Melbourne Cup. Loves Flemington and has an imposing record down the straight. Only stepped up to Group 1 company for the first time in November 2012 when nosed out of the Emirates Stakes win by Happy Trails, but kept to just one race between then and September last year due to injury setbacks. Sprint form against the best in the business when third to Black Caviar in the 2013 William Reid Stakes but proved a genuine stayer last prep. William Reid seventh first-up this time in making up good late ground with improvement to come over more distance. Aussie bred so a genuine hope for the locals out to stop the internationally-bred, imported and trained onslaught.
Sea Moon (GB)
7yo Bay Horse
D.O.B: 06 March 2008
By Beat Hollow (GB) from Eva Luna (USA)
Min/Max Dist. Wins: 1605/2400m
Pre-Nom Melbourne Cup Price: $26
Imported galloper hasn’t raced since a dead last finishing eighth behind Lidari in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in early March. That was his first run since finishing 13th to Fiorente in the Melbourne Cup where he was checked early and hampered near the 2000m with Steve Arnold in the saddle. Earned a Melbourne Cup call-up last spring after winning the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield in October and finishing second in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington the run before. Formerly prepared by Sir Michael Stoute in the UK, form down under has been promising but yet to live up to the expectations. Has had a full spring here now and has been up to the two miles so a better chance this time round.
Our No. 1 recommended bookie Ladbrokes.com.au are set to re-release their updated Melbourne Cup betting markets shortly so make sure you have an account open with them to get in on the action of the ‘race that stops a nation’!