Williams True Mastermind of Macedon Lodge Says Williams
The recent proclamation by Lloyd Williams regarding who wields the true power at Macedon Lodge seems to have stirred a bit of a ruckus in the racing community.
The departure of Robert Hickmott as head trainer, with his positon to be taken by Liam Howley, pending approval by RacingVictoria, was the precipitating incident.
Zipping Classic (Sandown Classic, if your prefer) winner The Taj Mahal listed Hickmott as the trainer, but Hickmott was nowhere to be seen when the four-year-old of North American pedigree won the Group 2, 2400 m race.
Those of us who appreciate the creativity that goes into horse naming cannot help by wonder, is The Taj Mahal named after the famous tourist draw in India, the American blues singer, or the now-defunct New Jersey gambling casino?
Williams lit the fuse when, speaking on Sky Sport’s Big Sports Breakfast, dismissed the impact of Howley stepping in for Hickmott, saying, “You are talking to the head trainer here,” (speaking of himself in reference to Macedon Lodge. “There’s always controversy over who trains the horses isn’t it?
Disregarding the grammatical gymnastics of that last sentence, Williams went on, saying, “The blue-print emanates right here, I’m chairman and chief executive, I decide how the horses will work and how we’ll feed them and all those sorts of things and I have people up there who execute it, that is what happens.”
The fact that Williams claims to be running things at Macedon, despite having no trainer’s license, is what upset many of the racing intelligencia, especially when Williams said, “I don’t want to be the trainer do I, that sort of argument was around about 20 years ago.”
Williams is taking his moment in the sun, following his recent success as the listed owner of Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling, to clarify the way things happen at Macedon Lodge.
He further revealed that he is sending Rekindling back to the north to be prepared by Joseph O’Brien for the 2018 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, a prestigious race, even though the winner will receive only around $396,000.