Magic Circle

Marwan Koukash leading Magic Circle back to scale (Image: Racing Post)

Williams eyes Cup return with Magic Circle

Ian Williams saddled his first runner in the Lexus Melbourne Cup last year and could return double-handed in November with Magic Circle and classy recruit Gold Mount being aimed at the Flemington race.

The Marwan Koukash-owned Magic Circle broke a blood vessel when failing to fire in the race last year and missed a repeat tilt at the Henry II Stakes at Sandown last month after a poor blood analysis following his return third in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester.

Last year's Chester Cup winner is back in work and pleasing Williams with a tilt at the Ascot Gold Cup, for which he is a general 16-1 shot, upcoming on June 20.

Williams said on Wednesday: "He worked for the first time today since his poor blood tests prior to the Henry II Stakes at Sandown and worked very well. We're happy with the rain coming and his progress towards the Ascot Gold Cup.

"His run over an inadequate trip at Chester showed him to be in good form but it's going to be a huge test. Stradivarius is the stayer of the moment but Magic Circle has got some great form and could run well.

"The Melbourne Cup is on the agenda again but he'd have to be in a similar sort of form as he was prior to going last year. We'd probably take our approach to the race differently this year but that's where we'd like to end up in November."

Gold Mount - previously named Primitivo during a first spell in Britain - provided Willie Twiston-Davies and Alan King with a memorable first Royal Ascot victory when landing the King George V Stakes three years ago and is back in Britain with Williams following stints in Hong Kong with Tony Cruz and Richard Gibson.

The Sutong Pan-owned six-year-old, who was last seen finishing fourth in the Dubai Gold Cup on World Cup night at Meydan, is set to make his yard debut in a 2400-metre Stakes race at Leicester on Monday with Ryan Moore booked to ride.

Williams, successful at Nottingham on Wednesday with the Roger Brookhouse-owned homebred Lucky's Dream, said: "Gold Mount joined us after running at Meydan and Richard [Gibson] is a good friend of mine.

"There's the potential for him to make the Melbourne Cup in November so that's the long-term aim.

"The race at Leicester is a good place to start him back and we've been very happy with him at home. He's been spot on and will probably run in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury in August."