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End of an era as Lloyd Williams closes Macedon Lodge

Six-time Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winning owner Lloyd Williams is set to leave his Macedon Lodge training establishment which has produced four Cup winners since the turn of the century.

Macedon Lodge will close as a private training base for horses owned by Williams and his son Nick, and Lloyd Williams said that the property would be put on the market early next year. 

Williams has not been spending the amount of time at Macedon Lodge he once did.

“I haven’t been to the property all year. I’m very big on attention to detail; up there at 4am for trackwork and still checking the feeds at 7pm,” he told RSN.

“But as I have become older, it has become harder. All good things come to an end.”

While a potential buyer has not been identified, Williams did reveal he wasn’t interested in selling the property to Racing Victoria as an industry training centre and said the property did not have a price tag.

“It will be sold for whatever the market decides it’s worth,” he said.

Nick Williams said the family racing operation would continue but with reduced numbers in Australia.

“We will be selling a number of horses, both privately and likely some through dispersal,” Nick Williams said.

“(But) we will have a large number of horses in training in Ireland with Joseph O’Brien and we will continue to have horses trained in Australia by various trainers.”

Lloyd Williams told RSN the decision would not mean that he would not mean his famous silks would not be absent from racecourses in the future. 

“I have something like 45 horses racing overseas and we’ve just bought a whole lot of yearlings over there,” he said.

“So, I guess they’ll all be flying in from now on, most likely in the care of Aidan or Joseph O’Brien.”

The Sheila Laxon-trained Ethereal (Rhythm) was prepared at Macedon Lodge to win the Caulfield (Gr 1, 2400m) and Melbourne Cups in 2001 while Williams-owned Cup winners from the property he bought in 2005 have been Efficient (Zabeel) (2007), Green Moon (Montjeu) (2012) and Almandin (Monsun) (2016).

Williams had previously won the Cup with Just A Dash (Whiskey Road) (1981), What A Nuisance (St Puckle) (1985) with his most recent, the Joseph O’Brien-trained Rekindling (High Chaparral) in 2017.

O’Brien had three Cup starters for Williams this year with Master Of Reality (Frankel), ridden by Frankie Dettori, relegated to fourth after being second across the line followed by Twilight Payment (Teofilo) (11th) and Latrobe (Camelot) (18th).

Macedon Lodge has had 35 runners this season for Australian trainer Liam Howley, registering two winners, Homesman (War Front) in the Feehan Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) at The Valley and Spanish Point (Frankel) in a benchmark 78 race at Geelong, both in September.

Robert Hickmott, who trained Green Moon and Almandin, left Macedon Lodge in 2017 to train at Caulfield and Liam Howley was appointed the operation’s trainer.

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