Ian Williams Could Return Double Handed In The Melbourne Cup

Trainer Ian Williams had his first runner in the elusive Melbourne Cup down under last year and this season is primed to double his effort by entering two of his horses into the Group 1 contest.

Magic Circle owned by Dr Marwan Koukash was unfortunate last year in Australia's highlight race of the year after there being support for the seven year old in the betting but he never ran his race, bursting a blood vessel.

One of Ian Williams most well known horses is Magic Circle but this year he might not be the only one from the yard heading to Melbourne with six year old stablemate Gold Mount also in the frame for the 16 furlong contest.

Magic Circle has not had the start to the season his connections would have hoped for after finishing a weak third in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester and then missed the chance last month to win back to back Henry II Stakes at Sandown with a poor blood test after his seasonal return at Chester.

The previous Chester Cup winner is now back working at Ian Williams Stables and is said to be getting back to much more of his former self with his next target possibly being a go in the Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal meeting that he will have to be at his best to feature prominently.

He is a current 16/1 chance to land the spoils in the feature Group 1 contest of the Royal festival on June 20th.

(Credit Racing Post) The trainer said: “He worked for the first time today since his poor blood tests prior to the Henry II Stakes at Sandown and worked very well. We’re happy with the rain coming and his progress towards the Ascot Gold Cup.

“His run over an inadequate trip at Chester showed him to be in good form but it’s going to be a huge test. Stradivarius is the stayer of the moment but Magic Circle has got some great form and could run well.

“The Melbourne Cup is on the agenda again but he’d have to be in a similar sort of form as he was prior to going last year. We’d probably take our approach to the race differently this year but that’s where we’d like to end up in November.”

Gold Mount might be a familiar horse to some racing fans having raced in Britain before under the name Primitivo and gave Alan king his first ever Royal Ascot winner when scooping up the King George V Stakes three years ago.

Since then he has been racing over in Hong Kong with Tony Cruz and Richard Gibson but now with Ian Williams he could set his sites on trying to conquer Australia.

Williams added: “Gold Mount joined us after running at Meydan and Richard [Gibson] is a good friend of mine. There’s the potential for him to make the Melbourne Cup in November so that’s the long-term aim.

“The race at Leicester is a good place to start him back and we’ve been very happy with him at home. He’s been spot on and will probably run in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury in August.”