Will you be having a flutter on the Melbourne Cup? If so, which horse will you be cheering on?
Sentiment gives way to regiment when it comes to Team Williams' approach to the A$6.2 million Melbourne Cup.
Billionaire owner Lloyd Williams' colours will be worn by jockeys riding a quarter of this year's Melbourne Cup field as the Melbourne business magnate bids to win his fifth Melbourne Cup.
He spends millions on buying proven European stayers with the clear focus on winning Australia's greatest race.
So it doesn't matter which one of the six wins, so long as one of them does.
Asked to rate the six in order of their chances, Williams' son Nick - the public face of the stable - was reluctant to split Metropolitan Handicap winner Seville, Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner, Herbert Power Stakes winner Sea Moon and last year's Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, but said that quartet probably had something on Masked Marvel and Mourayan.
But asked which horse he would love to see win, Williams let sentiment slip in.
''I'd love to see - for the historical factor - Green Moon go back-to-back. He's a real stable favourite and he's got the ability to back it up,'' Williams said.
''The logical two of ours are Fawkner and Seville. They've got winning form. The Caulfield Cup form year in-year out generally proves to be the right form. I would rate Seville, Fawkner, Sea Moon and Green Moon as our best chances with Mourayan and Masked Marvel not very far behind.
''But if Masked Marvel turns up with his European form, he's the best stayer in this race and he'll win. But he has to turn up with that form and I can't say we know the horse well enough yet to say that.
We're hopeful with all of them. They are in terrific order, they are coming into the race absolutely issue-free, bright and happy.'' That one owner should have six horses in a Melbourne Cup is remarkable but also noteworthy was that outside Mourayan, who drew barrier 19, the other five Williams runners drew 10 or closer, with Masked Marvel faring best with barrier two.
''It's absolutely astonishing,'' Williams said.
Williams rated the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente as the hardest horse to beat but joked that this year's Cup was ''Williams versus Werribee'' in reference to the 10 international horses training out of the Werribee quarantine centre.
He said Sea Moon had ''improved significantly'' from his Herbert Power run and he was the stable runner most on the up.
''He's the those couple of mile and a half runs which have really switched him on. He's a horse who has really gone forward leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks. He'll run an enormous race on Tuesday.
''But as I said, I can't split our horses. It's a $6 million race, we don't have to bet - we running for enough money - so we can sit back and hope one of our horses is good enough on the day. Even if they are not, it's just a great honour to have these six runners in this great race."
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