Nick Williams has confirmed that the majority of horses currently prepared at Macedon Lodge will only have one or two starts during their autumn preparations.
The likes of Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner only had very brief autumn campaigns before they returned to the races for successful Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaigns.
Leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse admitted that she borrowed the same formula for the Melbourne Cup preparation of Fiorente, who had only one race start in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, and Williams told Racing Ahead that his team has no plans to change what has been a successful model.
“You will see them all step-out,” Williams said.
“As is becoming the norm, I think it is something that we have pioneered over the last decade, our horses that had big springs will have light autumns.
“You will see them have one or two runs, probably not in the absolute major races.
“Dad thought that it was impossible to have a big spring and then a big autumn and then a big spring again, so we started giving horses light autumns and it worked to great success.
“Danny O’Brien adopted it when he had some good stayers up and running a few years ago and Gai certainly adopted it with Fiorente last year.
“It is certainly a model that seems to work and that is what we are doing with most of the horses that had big springs.”
Lloyd Williams had an historic six runners in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field and, apart from Mourayan who has been retired, they will all likely have at least one run during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing or the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival before returning to the spelling paddock.
Imported stayers like Hartani, Massiyn, Thought Worthy and Livery, who only had brief spring campaigns, are a chance of having more lengthy autumn preparations, while horses like Foundry and Little White Cloud are a chance of making their Australian racing debut.
The Williams Team won the 2013 edition of the Sydney Cup (3200m) with veteran stayer Mourayan and 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient finished second in 2012, but Williams said that they are unlikely to have a runner in the Group 1 event this year.