Lloyd Williams has poured his money, his heart and his soul into racing. His reward is a fourth Melbourne Cup thanks to Green Moon.
Although it could be claimed as a local victory against the might of the European stayers, Williams had to go to Europe to source his latest Cup winner and bring him back to Australia 18 months ago.
Jockey Brett Prebble also had to travel, from his base in Hong Kong, but he made the journey worthwhile as he brought Green Moon ($20) home with a strong run from the 300-metre mark.
The challenge came from Gai Waterhouse’s new stable acquisition Fiorente ($31) who got to within a length of the winner.
It was the trainer’s third runner-up placing in the race after Te Akau Nick (1993) and Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995).
Jakkalberry ($81) was the first of the northern hemisphere-trained visitors to cross the line, nabbing third from Kelinni ($19), 1-1/4 lengths behind Fiorente.
The French assault came to a shuddering halt with 2010 Cup winner Americain ($7.50) 11th and favourite Dunaden ($7) 14th in his bid to defend his title.
The Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold was sixth after setting the pace for most of the race.
As he was when Efficient won in 2007, Williams was at home watching on television, and left the talking and celebrating to his son Nick.
Green Moon lost favour with punters after his sub-par seventh as favourite in the Cox Plate, but the Williams clan remained true.
“The Cox Plate didn’t go to plan,” Nick Williams said.
“He was sore on the Sunday but he had bounced back by the Monday so we knew we had a horse again.
“This is a victory for the whole team we have at Macedon Lodge.
“My phone cut out as I was talking to (my father) but I know he will be over the moon, pardon the pun,” Nick Williams said.
“The Melbourne Cup is his dream. He is a great strategist in everything he does and this is the race he wants to win.”
His other Cup winners were Just A Dash (1981) and What A Nuisance (1985).
Craig Williams rode Green Moon in the Cox Plate and had the option to stick with him if anything went amiss with Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden.
That didn’t happen and Prebble jumped at the ride, saying he had watched the replays of the Cox Plate and was convinced the run was not as bad as it looked.
“I spoke to Lloyd weeks ago and he told me to keep an eye on his horses,” Prebble said.
“I thought it was a forgive run and Lloyd has enough money and enough vets to get him right for the Cup.”
Williams’ other runner Mourayan finished seventh with Precedence, who finished ninth, the first colonial bred horse home.
Nick said the race had changed so much they now needed to look further afield.
“The Melbourne Cup is not the handicap it used to be,” he said.
“The day of the Australian and New Zealand bred is gone.
“Horses need weight-for-age form and they need to be among the best we can get from overseas.”
While it wasn’t the result the visitors wanted, Jakkalberry’s trainer Marco Botti said he would definitely be back next year, with perhaps two or three horses.