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By Graham Potter | Sunday, November 12, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

When all was said and done it was the Lloyd Williams ‘form factor’ that carried the day in the Melbourne Cup.

There is not much left to say about an owner who basically dedicates his racing life to the pursuit of Melbourne Cup success ... except, importantly, to acknowledge Williams’ degree of knowledge of what is required in terms of sourcing contenders, his expertise and experience in helping his trainer plan the assault and refine the horse’s preparation ... and, last but not least, his unwavering support for Australia’s greatest race.

Don’t point a finger, as some do, at the money the Williams has available to follow his dream. When has throwing money at anything in racing ever brought any guarantee of success? There is a scrapheap of those who tried that route and failed.

Nor should any blame be laid at Williams’ door for sourcing most of his Cup winners from overseas. Need I remind you the Cup is a 3200m race! Ask the Australian breeding industry if it has any real emphasis on breeding stayers and you will understand why Williams, and others, have had to look elsewhere to have a shout in the big race.

That’s six wins now for Williams. Whether you find that statistic boring or exhilarating the bottom line is that, as far as racing ever allows, Williams has worked the race out to a nicety.

The fact that there are literally thousands of owners trying to win just one Melbourne Cup underlines just how much credit Williams deserves for his long line of success.

All credit to him.


And what about the young Melbourne Cup winning trainer Joseph O’Brien.

What a CV this man has! As a rider he won multiple Group 1’s ... including two wins in the Epsom Derby (one on a horse called Australia) and The Prince Of Wales Stakes on dual Cox Plate winner So You Think.

It might be a stretch but there was an Australian connection in there somewhere for those who followed obscure omens.

O’Brien has also ridden winners at the Breeders’ Cup and the Dubai World Cup ... and now, just twenty months after starting training, he has annexed the Melbourne Cup at the ripe old age of twenty four with Rekindling, his first runner in the race.

The elder statesman and the young trainer ... just the latest in a long line of illustrious stories that make up the fabric of the mighty Melbourne Cup.

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