Team player happy to share stage
Trainer Robert Hickmott and Nick Williams balancing the Cup on jockey Brett Prebble's head. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
LLOYD Williams' trainer, Robert Hickmott, wanted to do just one thing after accepting his Melbourne Cup after Green Moon's victory at Flemington on Tuesday.
He walked back into the mounting yard and gave it to his son, Joshua. The young boy gripped the Cup tightly as he was flanked by his mum, Michelle, and dad as they posed for pictures.
It is a family photo that will be regarded fondly by the quiet man who works alongside, and for, Williams. ''It is the best feeling,'' Hickmott said. ''It is very gratifying for everyone involved, especially Lloyd, because he puts so much into it. He is there every day and he is a great bloke to have close to me and to sponge off.''
The job of trainer at Macedon Lodge is always accompanied by questions about who exactly prepares the horses, given Williams' reputation for being very hands-on. But Hickmott's beaming smile indicated he had had more than a bit to do with Tuesday's victory, along with a strong team. However, there is no doubt Williams oversees the operation.
''He has a wealth of knowledge and he's going to set up a lot of the people at the farm for a very long time,'' Hickmott said. ''It is absolutely the best thing to have him there to bounce things off. He knows so much about it.''
It was a very different scene from Williams' last Cup win with Efficient in 2007, when Graeme Rogerson stole the limelight with his rambling speech. This time there was dignity to the trainer's address.
''It is a great honour to work for Lloyd Williams and he dedicates himself to Macedon Lodge. His passion for horse racing drives us to be better people and that goes for our No. 1 track rider, Eddie Cassar, to our strappers that are there every day.''
Every year Williams sets his team to be at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Mourayan and Green Moon were the survivors of the team of half a dozen that started the spring. Nick Williams, who shares in the ownership with his father, said getting horses to the Cup was the hardest thing.
''A few weeks ago it looked as if we would have five runners and we ended up with two,'' Williams said.
Two was enough. Nick Williams had thought Mourayan, which finished seventh, looked the winner in the straight until Green Moon peeled off his back and charged clear.
The six-year-old delivered Williams his fourth Cup only days after his first Cup winner, Just A Dash, had to be put down.
Hickmott and Williams had got their timing right with Green Moon, who had failed as favourite in the Cox Plate, running seventh. He went out at $20 for the Cup but Hickmott was confident - ''But you still have to have the breaks and he did.''