First and foremost Lloyd Williams, who today won a record fifth Melbourne Cup when the former German horse Almandin overhauled Irish horse Heartbreak City in a gripping running of the 156th Melbourne Cup, is a proud and passionate Melburnian.
Williams, 76, reflected on the joy that Almandin – a horse that broke down with a tendon injury and was nursed back to health at his Mt Macedon property – gave him.
He noted that he was brought up in a Catholic family which were publicans and punters.
“All I can remember from five years of age was listening to the Melbourne Cup. It is a thing that was part of my life,” Williams said.
Williams won his first Melbourne Cup when Just A Dash, trained by Tommy Smith, won in 1981. He won another in 1985 when the Johnny Meagher-trained What A Nuisance was successful.
He endured a 22-year wait until his third when Efficient won in 2007 and then Green Moon, a European purchase, won the 2012 Cup.
“From the time Just A Dash won, I was totally hooked,” Williams said.
“I love Melbourne. I developed Crown on Southbank and it’s Melbourne’s iconic entertainment centre, but the Melbourne Cup means more to me than that.
“The Melbourne Cup has always been the race that stopped the nation, but now it stops the world.
“The VRC has done a wonderful in the past 25 years. When I was a director the Melbourne Cup was s...