Monday, November 4, 2013

Williams will have his work cut out

The Caulfield Cup won by Fawkner.

The Caulfield Cup won by Fawkner. Photo: Pat Scala



If you listen to some of the international trainers whinge, then it should be renamed The Lloyd Williams Cup. Those poor, nomadic international trainers and horses, with their mega-rich owners, feel threatened by Williams' six runners in the race that stops a nation. Hang on, which nation is it? That's right, Australia! At the risk of sounding like a xenophobe, perhaps those whingeing trainers should pull their heads in, given it's our race (and $6 million in prizemoney) after all. But it's an indication of just how big the Melbourne Cup has become. Yes, Uncle Lloyd, as we like to call him at Nags, has Green Moon, who won it last year, Sea Moon, Fawkner, Mourayan, Seville and Masked Marvel running on Tuesday giving him a 25 per cent stake in the race. The only problem with backing one of his stayers is knowing whether you've won if his blue-and-white silks flash past in first. Our first lady of racing, Gai Waterhouse, is as best placed as ever to break her Cup drought, with Fiorente going in as favourite. Then you have the foreign raiders: Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Brown Panther, Dandino, Mount Athos, Voleuse De Coeurs and Verema. It's a big list of some of the world's best horseflesh that's assembled at the quarantine base at Werribee. While the internationals make form lines hard to read, it certainly has provided a lot of flavour. And the pre-race banter has spiced it up as well.

Owner Lloyd Williams.

Owner Lloyd Williams.




Comes into our big race off an emphatic six-length win in the Irish St Leger and form suggests she's been building nicely towards this grand final. Has won twice over 3200m, so we know she can stay. Only concern is hasn't tasted Australian conditions and Vintage Crop is the last blow in to win the Cup without having a lead-up run in Australia.


How to punt $20 on today's races

$10 win, Flemington race 7, No.17 Voleuse De Coeurs

I know, I know, she'll have to overcome a wide barrier (21), but certainly comes in with the form to do it. I ummed and ahhed about it but that six-length win over Ahzeemah in Ireland got me over the line. A lot of the foreigners seem thereabouts with Ahzeemah, like Simenon and Mount Athos, which tipped me over.

$5 win, Flemington race 7, No.4 Sea Moon

It would be un-Australian not to have a little something on a Williams horse and I liked the form of Sea Moon the best. Would be great to see the Williams horses ''boss the race'' and give it to the foreign raiders, especially those from the Old Dart.

$5 place, Flemington race 7, No.22 Dear Demi

Has raced gamely all spring so don't be surprised to see the St Andrews cross silks sneaking up the rail at the finish. Seems to be edging closer to a win.
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