Green Moon races to victory in Melbourne Cup
Australian-trained Green Moon defeats a crack field of international horses to win the 2012 Melbourne Cup. Photo: Eddie Jim
After more than half a century in racing, Lloyd Williams became the most successful owner in Melbourne Cup history with Green Moon's victory in Tuesday's $6 million nation-stopper. But despite this, the owner vowed to continue the search for another Cup winner for the rest of his life. At 72, Williams' success with Green Moon comes after memorable victories with Just A Dash, What A Nuisance and Efficient.
''While I'm still here, I'll keep trying to win. The problem is that I'm still buying horses and I'm in my last quarter. I watched the race from Mount Macedon as I wanted to be here when the horses were loaded and I wanted to be here when they came back. I'll put them straight on the water-walker to cool their legs,'' Williams said.
Williams has spent a lifetime searching for Melbourne Cup winners and has committed tens of millions of dollars throughout his life to find the right horse. For the fourth time, he managed to achieve it on Tuesday at Flemington.
Since he left Crown Casino, which he founded, he has pursued his passion, not only pouring millions of dollars into horseflesh but creating a state-of-the-art operation of his Mount Macedon training set-up north of Melbourne.
He has prided himself in business and in racing for giving young people a chance to excel and he maintains that he has a perfect start structure at his property.
''I had my two favourite jockeys ride for me today. Hughie Bowman and Brett Prebble. I'm so pleased for Brett, he's a great jockey. It's a matter of patience with these stayers. It's terribly hard to win a Melbourne Cup in their first season,'' he said.
''Green Moon has been here for two years. It takes time, like buying a New Zealand stayer. Buying horses from Europe is so expensive - they triple the price when they hear you are from Australia.''
Instead, Williams says he will put his energies into two stallions now standing at stud in Australia, believing they could be the key to unearthing another Cup winner.
''There are two sons of Galileo standing at Darley and I think I might take a punt on them. The search will go on,'' he said.
Williams' son Nick was at Flemington to receive the Melbourne Cup. Coincidentally, he was presented with the Cup by Prince Charles, who also presented to his father 27 years ago after he was successful with What A Nuisance.
Green Moon's win also capped a remarkable story for Prebble, 35.
''Every year I leave it open to him [Lloyd] and I wait until pretty much the death, and last year it cost me first or second because I could have ridden those two [Dunaden and Red Cadeaux], so sometimes luck is your fortune and I always repay people that are loyal to me. To come back this year, after the disappointment of last year, it's a great feeling,'' Prebble said.
''To come home to Australia and win a Melbourne Cup is a dream come true. I must say, though, that my move to Hong Kong five years ago has been the making of me. I took my wife and kids there, and the country taught me to be a good jockey and a good person,'' he said.
Prebble flew back to Hong Kong to ride on Wednesday.