Multimillionaire entrepreneur Lloyd Williams yesterday saw his horse Green Moon bring him a fourth Melbourne Cup win.
The 72-year-old founder of Crown Casino didn’t go to the track to see Green Moon’s victory and instead watched the $6.2 million race from his 121 hectare Macedon Lodge training complex close to Hanging Rock.
Williams’ previous Cup wins were with Just a Dash in 1981, What a Nuisance in 1985 and Efficient in 2007.
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While Williams reportedly watched the race with the volume turned down so as not to be distracted by the race caller, his son, Nick Williams, was at Flemington in his place and told The Australian Financial Review the Cup win was special.
“Everyone puts in so much time and effort. It’s led by dad.
“The Melbourne Cup is his dream. He is a great strategist in everything he does and this is the race he wants to win.”
He revealed his father had spared no time or expense in chasing a Melbourne Cup win and estimated he has had around 75 to 80 horses run in the Melbourne Cup over the five decades he has been pursuing Australia’s greatest horse race.
Williams undertakes a biannual disposal where he gets rid of the gallopers he believes will not be able to bring him another Melbourne Cup or a Cox Plate win.
It is a Williams motto that every horse has its price. And no tears are shed, even when one that turns out to be a champion is allowed to go.
Williams is a former Xavier College boy and his fortune has been estimated in the range of $700 million to $800 million.
Following the sale of Crown Casino, Williams’ business Hudson Conway invests in property and securities and did several property deals in Melbourne last year, including the sale of its development site on St Kilda Road.
However, it is the challenge of winning the holy grail of a Melbourne Cup that drives Williams these days.
“It’s 100% of my life at the moment,” he told BRW last year.
Williams is one of Australia’s largest thoroughbred owners along with being one of the biggest spenders in the racing industry on owning and breeding.
He imported dozens of horses with his best mate Kerry Packer in the 1980s and the pair terrorized bookmakers in every state with the scale of their betting.
Williams and Packer pioneered the trend of choosing European stayers, buying more than 40 between 1986 and 1990 but the pair never had any success together in the Melbourne Cup.
The big race has been a continuing obsession for Williams.
“When you’ve had as many horses as I have and been in it for as long as I have, and you’re in the last quarter of your life, you want to win the Melbourne Cup again,” he said a few years ago.
“So you keep trying.”