Lloyd: even the great TJ would be impressed
LLOYD Williams is hoping for some divine intervention as chases a fifth Group 1 $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) with either Almandin or Aloft at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Almandin ($3.50) and Aloft ($6.50) are the early TAB Fixed Odds favourites for the Sydney Cup but their owner believes there is nothing separating the two stayers.
"My late friend, the great Tommy Smith, would be proud of the way these two horses look,'' Williams said.
"TJ had a very good eye for horses and he wanted them very fit. I can't have Almandin and Aloft any fitter or going any better into the Sydney Cup.
"We've still got a few days to go until the race and I can't fault either horse, but only the good Lord knows whether they can win.''
Williams has won Sydney Cups with Major Drive (1987), Gallic (2007), Mourayan (2013) and Gallante (2016) and would love a fifth in Randwick's major staying race to go with his record six Melbourne Cup trophies.
Kerrin McEvoy, who won the Tancred Stakes on Almandin last start, goes on to Aloft at 51kg, and Williams confirmed Damien Oliver had been booked to ride Cup top-weight Almandin (57kg).
Meanwhile, champion jockey Corey Brown remains confident of being fit to ride at Warwick Farm on Wednesday after suffering rib damage when nearly unseated from The Lord Mayor in the ATC Australian Derby.
Brown revealed he underwent chiropractic treatment on Monday: "I had four ribs pushed back into place," he said.
Although Brown has some discomfort, he expects to be able to ride on Wednesday and then at Royal Randwick on Saturday, when his mounts include Peribsen in the Sydney Cup and Dixie Blossoms in the Group 1 $1 million Coolmore Legacy Stakes.
In other big race news, Andrew Adkins is the new rider for Chairman's Quality winner Sir Charles Road in the Sydney Cup.
Blake Shinn rode Sir Charles Road last Saturday but can't make the stayer's Cup weight of 51kg.
Can't Find Snippy, trained by Michelle Ritchie, will need a veterinary clearance to take her place in the field for the $500,000 Provincial Championship Final.
Ritchie told Racing NSW stewards Can't Find Snippy had a hoof abscess that burst last Thursday and it had not interrupted the mare's training routine. Can't Find Snippy will undergo a veterinary inspection on Tuesday.