Wil­liams musters six for Cup as­sault

The Sportsman Midweek - - News - CARYL WIL­LIAMSON

THE man who has owned more Mel­bourne Cup winners than any­one else has a thirst for more.

Re­tired Mel­bourne busi­ness­man Lloyd Wil­liams has six horses in to­day’s race in­clud­ing last year’s win­ner Al­mandin.

Wil­liams won his first Cup with the TJ Smith­trained Just A Dash in 1981.

Af­ter sourc­ing horses from New Zealand in­clud­ing 2007 win­ner Ef­fi­cient, Wil­liams has joined the grow­ing trend to buy from Europe with the south­ern hemi­sphere breed­ing in­dus­try con­cen­trated on speed.

Wil­liams son Nick ad­mits the im­ported Al­mandin is sen­ti­men­tal favourite among the fam­ily’s half dozen.

“If I could pick who I would love to win, it

be Al­mandin,” Wil­liams said.

“But that’s be­cause we love this race, have a great sense of his­tory, we’re proud Mel­bur­ni­ans, and to have the hon­our of hav­ing a back-toback win­ner would mean a great deal to us.”

Un­til Sun­day af­ter­noon pun­ters also sup­ported Al­mandin but the money started to come for English horse Marmelo.

To be rid­den by Hugh Bow­man, the Hughie Mor­ri­son-trained as­sumed $ 8.50 favouritism with Al­mandin now out to $ 9.

“Marmelo short­ened from $11 into $ 6.50 equal favourite for the Mel­bourne Cup af­ter fin­ish­ing sixth in Caulfield Cup on Oc­to­ber 21, but did ease with horses like Hu­mi­dor im­press­ing with a run­ner-up fin­ish to Winx in the Cox Plate,” TAB’s Trent Langskaill said.

“Since get­ting out to as much as $10, pun­ters have ral­lied for the fiveyearold and Marmelo has now displaced Al­mandin as the TAB Fixed Odds favourite for to­day’s Mel­bourne Cup.”

Bow­man, who has won three Cox Plates on Winx, be­lieves Marmelo is his best chance to win a Mel­bourne Cup which has pre­sented lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties in the past for the heavy­weight jockey.

An­other sen­ti­men­tal favourite, the Chris Waller-trained Who Shot The­bar­man, was with­drawn on Sun­day af­ter­noon with an el­e­vated tem­per­a­ture.

His scratch­ing has reignited the de­bate re­gard­ing emer­gen­cies for the Mel­bourne Cup which now has a field of 23.

A re­view in 2015 de­ter­mined it was not com­mer­cially vi­able to ac­com­mo­date emer­gen­cies be­cause of the costs in­volved.

A record- equalling 11 horses trained in the north­ern hemi­sphere are in the field in­clud­ing 2015 run­ner-up Max Dy­na­mite, one of three run­ners for Ir­ish trainer Wil­lie Mullins.

Wil­liams’ other run­ners are Jo­hannes Ver­meer, Bondi Beach, US Army Ranger, Gal­lante and Rekin­dling.

Al­mandin, Bondi Beach and Gal­lante are trained by Wil­liams’ Aus­tralian trainer Robert Hick­mott while Ai­dan O’Brien trains Jo­hannes Ver­meer and his son Joseph O’Brien is the trainer of US Army Ranger and Rekin­dling.

There are only two mares in the race, Amelie’s Star and Sin­gle Gaze with latter to be rid­den by Kathy O’Hara, the only fe­male jockey in this year’s race.

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