Lloyd Williams will be out for revenge after being denied a second Caulfield Cup, with Homesman beaten narrowly in yesterday’s spirited finish.
Fawkner (2013) has been the only Caulfield Cup winner for Williams and his son Nick. The team had three runners in yesterday’s 2400-metre feature and came away with second, third and fifth placings.
A half-head separated the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Best Solution and Homesman (Ben Melham), with The Cliffsofmoher (Hugh Bowman) third and The Taj Mahal (James McDonald) in fifth place.
“Unfortunately the post wasn’t a stride before or a stride later, but that’s the way it goes,” Nick Williams said. “Congratulations to Sheikh Mohammed and his team. They put a lot of money into their racing all around the world and it’s fantastic they’ve won a big race.
“That’s the way racing goes, but what we can be grateful for is all our horses ran really good races. They got good rides from their jockeys and Saeed’s horse was too good for us on the day.”
Williams said Homesman’s second placing qualifies the stayer for the Melbourne Cup, adding that was one of option to be considered by the team. He said next week’s Cox Plate or the Mackinnon Stakes on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival may also come under consideration.
The slow pace in the middle stages also proved disadvantageous for the Williams team.
“It certainly didn’t suit The Taj Mahal,” Williams said. “James elected to go back on him early and they ran slow fractions early in the race, which made it pretty hard. He made an early move and still ran very, very well and it was probably a good Melbourne Cup trial.
“Hugh was a little disappointed on The Cliffsofmoher. At the top of the straight he thought he was going to win but it didn’t pan out that way.”