Williams already planning next Melbourne Cup raid

Lloyd Williams said planning as already begun for an assault on next year’s Melbourne Cup.
Lloyd Williams said planning as already begun for an assault on next year’s Melbourne Cup.

LLOYD Williams' quest for a seventh Melbourne Cup triumph is already underway.

Less than 24 hours after Rekindling's stunning victory, the record-breaking owner confirmed the 2018 campaign has begun with three different trainers - Joseph and Aidan O'Brien and Robert Hickmott.

"We start today," the Macedon Lodge supremo said. "Haven't got much time. I'm in the last quarter. We're living and hoping, but you never know.

"We've got horses with Aidan and Joseph. We've got horses up at Macedon Lodge. We've got yearlings, two-year-olds, three-year-olds and you live in hope.

"Hopefully there'll be something coming through."

Williams, 77, said the template set in youngster Rekindling's remarkable victory could be repeated with the right horse.

Regarded as a four-year-old in Australia, Rekindling is still actually three by European time but, as Williams illustrated, the colt had the formline to overcome inexperience.

"For people who wanted to listen to me, the three-year-olds in England this year have been beating the older horses," he said. "There was a formline that if you wanted to look at from the other European horses here, the older ones, the three-year-olds from Doncaster, Goodwood and the Geoffery Freer had been beating them.

"So when you've got 51.5 and you know he can stay, and if you looked at the Leger run of this horse, he probably should have run second. There was a formline there. My query was that this horse was running in April and here we are almost in the second week of November."

Williams said his sixth Cup success was more significant because it involved both Joseph and Aidan O'Brien, trainer of runner-up Johannes Vermeer.

"I love this because it involves the O'Briens. I have a love affair with the O'Briens," Williams said. "Aidan is just an extraordinary fellow and this young man will be exactly the same.

"I just thought it was fantastic to do it 1-2 with the O'Briens."

O'Brien confirmed Rekindling would be joined at Macedon Lodge next for a short spell by Johannes Vermeer, US Army Ranger and The Taj Mahal before a decision was made on their future.

Rekindling almost certainly will return to Ireland before a possible clash with Order Of St George, also raced by Williams, in the Ascot Gold Cup in June.

"He might come back next season and try him for the Ascot Gold Cup in the summer," O'Brien said, also hinting Rekindling might return to Flemington next season. "A lot of things will have to go right for him to come back next year. He can have a little break now.

"We'll worry about next summer in the spring and then we'll have a look at whether we come back down here but there's a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then."

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