Seville recorded his first win in Australia with a strong staying performance in the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
Team Williams suffered a major disappointment when Sea Moon lost the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) on protest and managing co-owner Nick Williams was clearly delighted that Seville had got the stables day back on track with the impressive win.
Williams paid credit to the ride of Hugh Bowman, who scored his first win of the day after narrowly missing out on winning the Epsom Handicap with Streama, and is confident that Seville can be a leading contender for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“It is fantastic it is his first win since he won a maiden at Tipperary,” Williams said.
“We set him for this race heading towards the major races in Melbourne and Hugh Bowman gave him a peach of a ride.
“I was a little bit worried there when the field bunched up that he might not get a run but like usual Australia’s best jockey Hugh Bowman knows best and got the inside run.
“I think the horse was very strong over the concluding stages of the race and I think that bodes well for the Cup.”
Williams revealed that Seville was no certainty to run in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in a fortnight’s time and criticised the conditions of the race that penalises the winner with a weight penalty for the Melbourne Cup.
“I think he is very well weighted for those races but we will have to wait and see what Greg Carpenter does and where we will go from there,” Williams said.
“It is a great victory for him because that qualifies for the Melbourne Cup and I think he is a horse that has a terrific chance in that race.
“If the powers to be can organise it so it is penalty free coming into the Melbourne Cup that would make it a much better race for everybody and I think it is something they should be looking towards in the future.
“If they can pull that off I think they will find that there will be a lot better horses in the race.”
Bowman was delighted to score his first ever victory in the Metropolitan Handicap and is hopeful that Seville may be the horse that gives him an elusive Melbourne Cup win.
“It has turned what was a frustrating day into a very good day,” Bowman said.
“To top it off with a Group 1 win for Team Williams is a good way to end a great day.
“I think that he will continue to improve when he goes to longer races.”