One hour and 21 minutes after the Melbourne Cup is run and won, Grafton trainer Gayna Williams will be seeking her own cup success with Landucan in the $50,000 Muswellbrook Cup.
The former Bathurst-based trainer fancies Saturday’s Lexus winner Niwot in the big one, but admits her attention is focused on promising five-year-old Landucan.
“The horse has come back from a short break good, he’s going good and the roomier track at Muswellbrook should suit him,” Williams said.
“The 1500 metres isn’t ideal but the big track should compensate.
“And having Dale Spriggs aboard is a big plus.”
Spriggs, no stranger to country cup success, is in fine form, riding three winners at Wyong Saturday.
Landucan, by 1993 Caulfield Cup winner Fraar, has been handled with patience by Williams.
Williams, a dressage and show jumping state representative, has been involved with horses all her life and first took out a trainer’s licence in 1985.
Landucan has had just 10 starts for five wins and three placings.
The gelding was bred by Sydney building contractor John Neradovsky and his wife Anne.
Neradvosky owns a cattle property outside of Bathurst.
“The prefix in Landucan’s name refers to John’s stud,” Williams said.
“John has been a client for a good few years, breeds his own horses.
“We’ve got Landucan’s older full-brother Lantuff but Landucan is a bigger, stronger horse. They’re different types.
“He’s built up a good record and is still developing. The Muswellbrook Cup looks a nice race for him.”
After stringing together a series of wins, Landucan resumed from a 54-day let-up with a nose second to in-form Geronimo Jack over 1400m at Lismore on September 22, then was beaten under a length when third to Narcelo and Geronimo Jack in the 1600m Krambach Cup at Taree on October 14.
“He was unluckily beaten by a good horse first-up then ran into traffic at the wrong time at Taree,” Williams said.
“He’s a horse that likes galloping room. He needs to make one uninterrupted run.”