The training establishment responsible for getting Melbourne Cup winner Almandin back to the racetrack has produced Little White Cloud to win first-up at Flemington.
Almandin spent two years on the sidelines recovering from a tendon injury before Lloyd Williams’ Macedon Lodge started the long process in June of getting him fit for the Melbourne Cup.
Little White Cloud was having his first run in over three years when he took out the Starlight Children’s Foundation Plate on Saturday.
Ridden by Katelyn Mallyon, Little White Cloud ($14) scored by 1-1/4 lengths from Nozomi ($8.50) with the $2.90 favourite Hipparchus three quarters of a length away third.
Little White Cloud arrived on the same plane load of horses from Ireland that included The United States and he hadn’t raced since finishing sixth in the Irish Derby at the Curragh in June 2013.
Nick Williams explained Little White Cloud injured a suspensory ligament not long after his arrival while in training and had suffered a few other issues.
Williams was surprised by the victory after Little White Cloud drifted in the market from $10 to $14.
“I gave him no chance to be perfectly honest, not because of his ability but because they don’t win after having such a long time off,” Williams said.
“You would think he would be a little ring rusty.
“The horse has obviously got ability and it’s onwards and upwards from here if he can stay sound.”
Mallyon, who replaced Ben Melham on the seven-year-old, said she was not surprised by the victory.
“He’s in the best camp to do something like this,” she said.