Team Williams headed by Lloyd and his son Nick are among the owners of three runners in the 2015 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) to be run at Flemington on Saturday.
Lloyd Williams will be chasing his fifth win in the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’ after collecting the wining trophy with Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and Green Moon (2012).
Williams’ private trainer Robert Hickmott will saddle up The United States while Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien is in charge of Kingfisher and Bondi Beach.
But the Mount Macedon based team could have had four runners but for the unfortunate withdrawal of Herbert Power Stakes winner Amralah due to a mix up in his medical treatment.
“We were told by the Ballarat vet clinic that the medication would be out of his system in 13 days. We treated him 18 days ago but when I had a vet test him this morning (Saturday) it (the medication) was still in his system,” Lloyd Williams told the Sunday Herald Sun.
“It may well be out of his system on Monday. But how could I accept with a horse that I know is over the legal limit and then hope he was alright on Cup day?” Williams said.
“It would be unfair on the VRC (Victoria Racing Club) if we accepted and then had to scratch, leaving another runner missing out.”
Nick Williams was philosophical about the situation and said that the team had to move on aand look forward to Tuesday.
“We’ve just got to move forward – we had a very unfortunate day with Amralah but that’s life and we charge on,” owner Nick Williams said after the barrier draw.
“We’re just fortunate that we have some partners in our horses and luckily all that were in Amralah are the same people in The United States so no-one is missing out, which is the key.
“He would’ve been in the finish of the race, I’ve got absolutely no doubt, he’s really flying that horse and it’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances where unfortunately he was mistreated by a supposed professional vet.
“But that’s got a bit to play out yet.”
The United States had the best luck of Williams’ trio at the barrier draw coming up with gate three while Kingfisher with Irish jockey Colm O’Donoghue in the saddle drew okay at nine and Bondi Beach has given Brett Prebble plenty of work to do after drawing eighteen.
Williams has secured the services of Hong Kong’s leading jockey Joao Moreira to partner The United States and the ‘Magic Man’ is certain to give the Irish import every chance from barrier three.
“Joao Moriera should be able to put him to sleep and give him a great ride from there,” Williams said.
“He couldn’t have been more impressive (in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup).
“It was a true staying test the way the leaders set that race up, so I don’t think we’ve got much doubt he’s going to get the trip.”
The United States proved that he would be a genuine Melbourne Cup contender with a most impressive win in the Group 2 $250,000 Melbourne Signage Concepts Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
The Melbourne Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au has The United States marked at $19, Bondi Beach at $21 and Kingfisher at $26.
Kingfisher’s best recent form was three runs back when second to Melbourne Cup rival Trip To Paris in the Group 1 £400,000 Gold Cup (2 mile 4 furlong) at Royal Ascot on June 18.
While Bondi Beach has come to Australia with a last start second in the Group 1 £600,000 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (1 mile, 6 furlong, 132 yards) at Doncaster, England on September 12.
Have a bet on the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au and go into the draw to win a Ford Ranger, an Aquamaster Boat or a Honda Bike. To be eligible to win, just place a bet of any value on the 2015 Melbourne Cup. This includes- but is not restricted to- all bets on Futures, All In, Exotic, Best Tote or SP and Fixed Odds markets. For full terms and conditions go to Ladbrokes.com.au.