Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams doubts there is a better rider of stayers anywhere in the world than Kerrin McEvoy.
Williams and McEvoy teamed with Almandin to win Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, giving the owner his fifth win in the coveted race and the jockey his second.
Williams said McEvoy’s ride was as good as any he had seen in a Melbourne Cup.
“I’ve seen a few, too. I thought it was terrific,” Williams said.
“He went out there with an open mind and rode the horse according to how the race was run.
“There’s not many better staying riders in the world, if there is any.”
Planning for a sixth Melbourne Cup in 2017 has begun and Williams is looking two and even three years further ahead.
He pointed to the facilities at Macedon Lodge where four Cup winners have come from since 2001 as being integral to success.
Ethereal started the ball rolling for Sheila Laxon in 2001 before Williams bought the property from where Efficient (2007), Green Moon (2012) and Almandin have been trained.
“We’ll start trying again tomorrow to win in 2017,” Williams said.
“The facilities are really important in getting them what I call ‘off-track fit’.
“I’ve got a theory that if you’ve got them fit to a degree, they’re less likely to break down, but you cross your fingers every time.
“No-one’s a genius in this game.”
A decision on whether Almandin defends his Melbourne Cup crown is still a long way down the track.
Williams is considering a distance change and possibly looking at set weights races like the Doomben Cup in May, saying the Australian Cup in March may come too soon.
He said he had 10 or 12 horses that might make the Cup grade.
“I’ve got a few here, horses that you haven’t seen yet,” Williams said.
But Williams doubts there will be any by Monsun who has sired three of the past four Cup winners including Almandin although does have a couple of young horses by the stallion still in Europe.
“They’re a bit of a prized product,” he said.
Williams plans to have his Melbourne Cup horses ready to peak for the Turnbull Stakes meeting at Flemington in early October.
It was at this meeting Almandin won the Bart Cummings after which he wasn’t seen until Cup day.
“My view is that you don’t try and get it ready in the last four weeks,” Williams said.
“If you’re not ready four weeks before, you won’t be ready on Cup day.
“That’s why these horses are coming from Europe.
“They mightn’t have raced since August, but they’re ready.”