Homesman leads Lloyd’s charge for Cox Plate
HIGH-class stayer Homesman will be Lloyd Williams' sole Feehan Stakes (1600m) contender at The Valley on Saturday as Macedon Lodge resumes the search for its first Cox Plate winner.
Australasia's weight-for-age championship is one of the few majors to elude record-breaking Melbourne Cup owner Lloyd Williams.
Mahogany, Zipping (twice) and Fawkner have all finished second for Williams in the Cox Plate but he has no shortage of ammunition for the October 26 feature.
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Caulfield Cup runner-up Homesman is among six Liam Howley-trained gallopers nominated for the $5 million contest.
He is joined by Douglas Macarthur, Johannes Vermeer, Kenya, Nelson and Yucatan.
Williams and his co-owners also have Latrobe, Buckhurst and Master Of Reality - all prepared by Ireland's Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Joseph O'Brien - among the nominations.
Williams indicated Yucatan would bypass the Feehan Stakes while Homesman, who ran second in the race last year behind Magic Consul, would be ridden by Ben Melham.
Homesman hasn't raced since finishing a narrow second to Best Solution in the Caulfield Cup last October.
Victory on Saturday in the Feehan provides ballot exempt status into the Cox Plate.
Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive officer Michael Browell said: "The Feehan Stakes has traditionally provided a great platform into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate and with a quality field this year looking likely, I would expect the winner to add an interesting element to what is shaping as a legendary 2019 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
"Being a ballot exempt race adds further intrigue to the Feehan Stakes and it also forms part of the Cox Plate Boost series, meaning the winner will be racing for an additional $1 million bonus and therefore $4 million first prize winner's cheque if they are ultimately successful in the 2019 Cox Plate".