Nick Williams, the son of prominent Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams rates European Stayer, Spanish Mission as the biggest danger to Twilight Payments title defence and not Aussie Stayer and current favourite Incentivise

Twilight Payment winning the 2021 Melbourne Cup

Williams junior shares in the ownership of last year's winner Twilight Payment who cleared quarantine in Australia on Saturday. The 2020 Melbourne Cup winner will remain at Werribee however until after the cup due to new Racing Victoria regulations. 

Lloyd Williams has won the Melbourne Cup 7 times overall, of which son Nick has shared in 4. 

After Incentivise trashed the Caulfield Cup field last weekend, many had considered him the locked on favourite for the race but Williams has other ideas now the Aussie stayer is set to compete against some of the global elite.

“I’m leaving the favourite out, it might just come out and win by five lengths, I’ve got no idea about it, only looking at exposed form,” Williams said.

“Spanish Mission is a very good stayer, no question about that, they’ve got 57 (kg) and 58 (kg) for a reason, the two of them deserve it.”

Twilight Payment has top weight 58kg in the Cup, a kilogram more than Incentivise and Spanish Mission.

“He’s an amazing horse this staggers me, so tough old Twilight,” Williams said.

“He’s a three-year-old colt (at Werribee) he’s that enthusiastic and it’s not as if he’s (lightly raced)... been to every dance and seems to love it.

“In April-May I thought it would be a waste of time even thinking of bringing him back... as the year has gone I’ve really warmed to it and I’ve got to the point now I think he’s as good a chance winning as any.

“With all due respect... it’s not nearly as good a race as it was last year... it’s a substantially narrower race, and I think the way it’s fallen into place he actually looks attractively weighted in it.

“It’s a wonderful thing to try and chase a bit of history and try and win something back-to-back.”

It could be a case that Twilight Payment is the only runner to line up for the Williams team in 2021. However should the 9 year old defend his crown he will be the first runner to do so for the Macedon Lodge Stable. 

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