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Cup quinella unlikely for this year’s race

Reigning Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling and runner-up Johannes Vermeer are unlikely to line up in Australia’s most famous race this year.

Lloyd Williams won a record sixth Melbourne Cup as an owner last November when the Joseph O’Brien-trained Rekindling defeated the Aidan O’Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer at Flemington.

Both Rekindling and Johannes Vermeer remained in Australia and are under the care of Williams’ private trainer Liam Howley.

Williams told RSN927 on Monday the two were unlikely to head to the Cup this spring, with weight-for-age races the more likely path.

“Very unlikely that you’ll see them in the Cup,” Williams said.

“We’ll see them probably in a weight-for-age race, I would have said. They’ll be up too far in the weights for handicap racing.

“They’ll run in some of the weight-for-age races hopefully.”

The prominent owner combined with Joseph O’Brien for another feature race success over the weekend when Latrobe won the Group One Irish Derby at The Curragh.

Given his Derby success, the northern hemisphere-trained three-year-old could get too much weight for the Melbourne Cup to be an attractive option this spring.

“He’s only a three-year-old so to bring them out here they have to be down the bottom of the weights because they are conceding time to the other horses,” Williams said.

“I would be surprised if you’ll see him, but I’m always keen on a Melbourne Cup.

“If they gave him some sort of opportunity of being competitive in the race at the weights I’d obviously consider bringing him out here. But at this particular moment, well it’s got a question mark I think.”

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