Homesman

Homesman (Image: Racing Photos)

Williams preparing for dose of Cup Reality

Latrobe is Team Williams' high-profile Lexus Melbourne Cup entry engaged in Europe this weekend, but he is not their only runner on trial for a trip to Victoria for the Spring Carnival.

The powerhouse owners also have a progressive three-year-old engaged at Leopardstown in Ireland.

Master Of Reality will tackle the older horses in a 2400-metre Group 3 race which, like Latrobe's engagement in the English St Leger, will go a long way to determining the Frankel colt's spring prospects.

"We only bought him about two or three months ago and he's having his first start for us," Nick Williams told RSN927's Racing Pulse.

"He came from France and he's got quite good form in France. He's entered for the Cup, but we'll see how he runs on the weekend."

Master Of Reality, who like Latrobe is prepared by Joseph O'Brien, has had five starts for two wins - both over 2400m - and a second placing.

He runs just over an hour after Latrobe faces his toughest staying test in the English St Leger (2921m) on Sunday morning.

The colt by Camelot out of a Shamardal mare is having his first start beyond 2414m - the distance of the Irish Derby, which he won in June - and Williams said he needs to prove himself a stayer before consideration is given to bringing him out for a Lexus Melbourne Cup.

"It's a pretty fast family and he's a big, strong, imposing horse," he said. "He might stay as a three-year-old, but I would have thought as time goes on he'd be more of a middle-distance horse. I think he will be a mile-and-a-quarter, mile-and-a-half horse going forward.

"Whether he stays or not, that's the question on him and this weekend will answer a lot of questions as to whether he travels to Australia or not."

Latrobe is entered for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) and on Tuesday received 52kg, 2kg more than Master Of Reality, who is also entered for both races.

One horse who is in Australia and has already impressed this campaign is Homesman, but Williams said there is no guarantee he will get to the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

He proved his sharpness with a narrow second placing to Magic Consol in Saturday's G2 Dato' Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at his first start since finishing midfield in the Australian Cup, but Williams hinted that the Caulfield Cup might be a more suitable spring target.

"I don't know if he'd stay a Melbourne Cup trip," he said. "He's by War Front out a Red Ransom mare ... only time will tell.

"He's certainly entered for the Caulfield Cup. He's won at Caulfield, so all being well you'd love to see him there, but he'll tell us in due course."

The Williams camp is represented in Saturday's G1 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) by The Taj Mahal, which Nick said was a stepping stone for the potential Caulfield Cup hope, while they also have one of the most interesting runners at the meeting in Orderofthegarter.

The Galileo entire is first up for Liam Howley, having last competed in a 2400-metre Group 1 race in France in July last year, in the 1700-metre handicap that rounds out the card and while he has been the subject of good support, Williams is cautious.

"He'll need further," he said. "It's his first run here, so I wouldn't know what to expect from him yet.

"He's going well at home, he's a beautiful horse and I think he'll be a good horse in time but, once again, he's got to get up to his trip."