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Williams wisdom delivers another Melbourne Cup from hand-picked tyros

He decided to shut his Macedon Lodge training centre and give the responsibility of training to Anthony Freedman and Danny O’Brien in Australia.

But Williams’ major European base was with Joseph O’Brien, who he had labelled a future great after he prepared Rekindling to win his sixth Cup for him two years ago.

Williams’ business acumen has always been to surround himself with the best people throughout his life.

And once again the wisdom of Williams was front and square as Twilight Payment gave him a seventh Melbourne Cup, O’Brien a second at just 27 years of age and Jye McNeill, 26, a first at his first attempt.

But no mistake, Williams is still making the important decisions, like booking his jockeys.

Jye McNeil returns to scale on Twilight Payment.

Jye McNeil returns to scale on Twilight Payment.Credit:Getty

“Dad said to me about two or three months ago when there was doubts about Sydney jockeys: ‘I’ve booked Jye McNeil for Twilight Payment. He’s the best young jockey in this country’,” son Nick Williams revealed.

“Yet again, as it so often happens with me, Dad’s view gets proved right. He’s a genius, and there’s absolutely no doubt the right one won the race.”

When Williams puts his trust in people, they make a habit out of delivering.

His wisdom in choosing two young men gave way to a spectacular all-the-way win in the fourth-fastest Melbourne Cup in history.

It was planned and executed with a precision that gave none of the other 22 horses a chance of running down Twilight Payment.

“He rode the horse exactly how Joseph had been telling him over the last two or three nights to ride him in their long conversations,” Williams continued.

“We were a bit worried about Jye doing that because, if you don’t win when you ride a horse like that, people aren’t exactly praising you for it. You’ve got to get it right in that situation.

“It wasn’t a pretty ride, but it was a very effective ride. He had the horse under him to do the job.”

O’Brien had to watch from his office in Ireland after planning Twilight Payment’s way back to Flemington since his 11th in last year’s Cup.

“It’s incredibly special. Jye gave the horse an incredible ride and all credit has to go to Lloyd and Nick Williams. They really thought this horse had a big chance in the race this year,” he said.


“There was a time when we weren’t sure whether we were going to be able to have runners in the race this year. Very special that we were able to compete in the race.

“All credit and a huge thanks to all the people behind the scenes making that happen and making it possible.

“We’re very lucky to take part in those races with the horses and support of the owners – Lloyd and Nick. Jye gave the horse the most wonderful ride.”

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