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Rival owner Nick Williams has described 2015 runner-up Max Dynamite as “flying” ahead of the raider’s second shot at the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ and has the stayer inside his top 2017 Melbourne Cup tips despite Macedon Lodge presenting a six-horse contingent of their own.
The Williams’ clan, led by prolific businessman Lloyd Williams, has an incredible six horses lining up in this year’s Group 1 $6.25 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), but the danger could be the Rich Ricci-owned Max Dynamite.
Goliath owner Williams has won a record five Melbourne Cup trophies after the 2016 success of Almandin, which Ricci chases his first after a close call two years ago.
Ricci has Thomas Hobson ($17) out wide in barrier 21 and the race’s 2015 runner-up to $101 winner Prince Of Penzance, Max Dynamite, a horse Williams’ son Nick rates as the most likely to knock off their runners.
“We’re really happy with all six of runners,” Williams told the Herald Sun.
“But I’ve been watching Max Dynamite and if I’m having any multiples, I’ll be putting him in.
“He’s flying, Max Dynamite. He’s going to be hard to beat at the weights.
“There are some beautiful horses down here at Werribee, but Max Dynamite is the one that’s taken my eye.”
The William Mullins-trained Great Journey gelding was narrowly beaten a half-length off Darren Weir’s shock winner two years ago ridden by Frankie Dettori.
This year Dettori is out to go one better riding the defending Melbourne Cup winner Almandin, while Max Dynamite has Zac Purton aboard from barrier two.
“Max Dynamite ran a stormer in 2015, we were just undone by a great story for racing in Michelle Payne and Prince of Penzance,” Ricci said.
“Hopefully Max can replicate that form on Tuesday.”
The Melbourne Cup field for 2017 was reduced by one on Sunday with the withdrawal of the Chris Waller-trained veteran Who Shot Thebarman due to a fever.
Max Dynamite remains genuine hope of going one better than his result two years ago, the eight-year-old firming from $17 into $15 after the early Melbourne Cup scratching.
Barrier two has produced just two Melbourne Cup winners since 1983 with Kiwi (1983) and Might And Power (1997).
Looking to be the first international to win the Melbourne Cup first-up without a spring lead-up down under since Vintage Crop (1993), Max Dynamite was last seen winning a 3419m handicap at Killarney in Ireland carrying 73kg.
A dour stayer who will easily run the 3200m, Max Dynamite carried 55kg in the 2015 Melbourne Cup field and drops to 54kg this year.
Along with Almandin the other Williams-owned runners in the race meanwhile are early market mover Rekindling who is a lightly-raced European three-year-old, Caulfield Cup third placegetter Johannes Vermeer, US Army Ranger, Gallante and Bondi Beach.
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