Green Moon scores on good day for ex-Brits
Report: Australia, Saturday
Flemington: Turnbull Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 4yo+
FORMER British-trained horses enjoyed a field day in Australia on Saturday with a Group 1 double as Green Moon (Robert Hickmott/Craig Williams) took the Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne and Glencadam Gold took the Metrop in Sydney.
Apart from a few notable Tuesdays in November, this was one of the days Green Moon's owner Lloyd Williams lives for.
Four winners in two states, all in black type races and all with more to give when the biggest races roll around.
The crowning moment for the prolific owner came in the Turnbull, where he claimed the quinella with Green Moon and Seville, formerly trained by Harry Dunlop and Aidan O'Brien respectively.
Earlier on the same programme Tanby carried his blue-and-white colours to victory in the Listed Bart Cummings and at Randwick his top Melbourne Cup hope Mourayan, once with John Oxx, won the Group 3 Craven Plate.
Fawkner then capped off the day with victory in the Listed Headquarters Tavern Stakes.
"I think we can move on to Cox Plates and Caulfield Cups and go in with live chances," said Williams's son and stable spokesman Nick Williams.
Williams has been involved in the ownership of three Melbourne Cup winners, Just A Dash in 1981, What A Nuisance (1985) and Efficient (2007) who was retired in the past week.
This year the owner who has spent millions searching for another winner of Australia's greatest race has come up with an internationally assembled stable that has a strong hand in Melbourne's three biggest spring races.
Green Moon is shaping as his top Melbourne Cup prospect and is also in contention in the Cox Plate, Seville has run himself into Caulfield Cup calculations and Mourayan is a Caulfield Cup Prospect.
Tanby will be aimed at the Moonee Valley Cup and Fawkner is likely to go to the Group 1 Toorak Handicap.
Sent off 3-1 favourite, Green Moon survived a wide run and the late charge of his stablemate to score by a long neck. December Draw ran on reasonably for third a length and a quarter away.
While Green Moon confirmed himself as a Caulfield Cup prospect, last year's winner Southern Speed now seems out of contention after a "horribly disappointing" second last of 16.
"It was the worst run of her life," said trainer Leon Macdonald. "She didn't want to leave the gates, she never let down."
Also on Saturday
Randwick: Craven Plate (Group 3) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
Mourayan (Robert Hickmott/Hugh Bowman) held off a challenge from Western Symbol to win at Randwick just 20 minutes before Tanby won the Bart Cummings at Flemington.
The Bart Cummings was won last year by Mourayan and is the only other race he has won in Australia since being imported from Europe.
"He could be my Melbourne Cup ride," said Hugh Bowman. "My options are thin on the ground."
Mourayan has 53.5kg in the Cup and a penalty would help the heavyweight rider's cause.