Lloyd Williams knows a Melbourne Cup winner when he sees it and he revealed this morning that Sea Moon ‘worked like a horse that could win the Melbourne Cup’ when he had his last serious gallop before the 2013 $6 million Group 1 event on Friday.
Williams’ put the majority of his six 2013 Melbourne Cup runners through their paces at his Macedon Lodge stable on Friday morning and told RSN that he was very happy with Sea Moon’s work but believes the Beat Hollow gelding still has plenty of improvement in front of him.
“I think that he has improved and he worked on Friday morning like a horse that could win the Melbourne Cup,” Williams said.
“That was the last piece of solid work that he did and he looked pretty good.”
Sea Moon arrived in Australia with a large reputation and a high international rating after he defeated Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Jakkalberry, 2013 Melbourne Cup favourite Fiorente and My Quest For Peace to win the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) in impressive fashion during the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting.
Williams pointed out this morning that Sea Moon was yet to record a victory at Group 1 level and believes that his rating, and weight in the 2013 Melbourne Cup, was inflated due to the hype surrounding his dominant Hardwicke Stakes victory.
“You have to remember that ratings are a human thing; I have the highest admiration for Greg Carpenter but the ratings that he talks about are his personal ratings,” Williams said.
“While we say that he is coming here with a very high rating; he came here and he is a non-Group 1 winner.
“He won the Hardwicke, not a bad race, but at this stage he is yet to win a Group 1.
“I am hoping that tomorrow he might do that but at the moment he has been over boomed.
“I liked him, I wouldn’t have brought him if I didn’t like him, but I just wonder whether that rating was a little too high.
“He is paying the penalty; he has 56.5kg in this race.”
Sea Moon took a while to adjust to the Australian style of racing, failing to perform in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), but found a semblance of his best form when he was the first horse across the line in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) and the Group 2 Hebert Power Stakes (2400m).
He is currently rated as a $14 chance in 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets and is the most fancied of the six Lloyd Williams runners in the race.