Lloyd Williams has six runners in the 2017 Melbourne Cup, but it is Northern Hemishphere three-year-old Rekindling that could end up on top of his 2017 Melbourne Cup tips.
Rekindling started his 2017 racing season in Ireland in April with a win in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes (2011m) and he finished fourth in the Group 2 Dante Stakes (2062m) at York on May 18 before he failed to fire in the Group 1 Epsom Derby on June 3.
The High Chaparral colt returned to his best form when he beat Wicklow Brave to win the Group 2 Curragh Cup (2816m) on July 2 and he chased home Order Of St George in the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (2816m) before he finished a credible fourth in the Group 1 St Leger Stakes (2921m) at Doncaster on September 16.
Williams told RSN that three-year-olds have been excellent in the staying ranks in the Northern Hemisphere this season as long as he isn’t jaded from what has been a lengthy campaign, will prove very tough to beat in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.
“He has had a long preparation and he has been going since April,” Williams said.
“I have a very good guide on him because he has run against Order Of St George and if you had a bit of cut in the track he would win this race in a canter.
“Rekindling has a bit of form around him and the horse is very well here – he has a blood picture I would die for for some of my other horses.
“Whether April to November is too long for a three-year-old I don’t know.
“In Europe this year three-year-olds have been winning all the races and beating the older horses.
“Defoe beat Wall Of Fire quiet decisively and he ran against Rekindling in the Leger and got beaten out of sight.
“If Rekindling has gotten over his eight months of training he is right in the race with 51.5 kilograms.
“If I knew he had got over his eight months in training he would be my number one pick.”
Rekindling has been one of the best-backed runners in the 2017 Melbourne Cup betting market with Ladbrokes and he is currently available at a quote of $13, while it is Marmelo ($8.50) that is currently a narrow favourite from Almandin ($9) and Johannes Vermeer ($11).