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More mature Bondi Beach for Melbourne Cup

A more mature Bondi Beach has hit Australian shores ahead of a second shot at the Melbourne Cup.

That’s the view of co-owner Lloyd Williams after watching the Aidan O’Brien-trained stayer at Werribee on Friday morning.

Bondi Beach finished 12th in last year’s Melbourne Cup behind Prince Of Penzance at only his sixth race start.

With another four starts under his belt in Europe this season, Bondi Beach has developed into a solid stayer.

“He’s matured a bit from last year,” Williams said.

“Aidan seems to be pretty happy with him and the vibe with him (in quarantine) is they are happy with him.”

Bondi Beach is one of four Williams-owned runners in next Tuesday’s Cup at Flemington.

Williams described O’Brien as the best trainer he has seen in world racing.

“Aidan O’Brien’s attention to detail, to run a business as big as his, I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Williams said.

“He’s a 24/7 person who runs a business and is an absolutely amazing man.

“He’s wasting his time in racing because he would be a success in any business he took on.”

Williams is also pitting himself against the Irish maestro with his local team of Almandin, Assign and Gallante, all trained by Robert Hickmott.

“I’m not splitting them. I just hope they run well,” Williams said.

“When you get to this race, as I’ve been doing it for 50 years, I’m just hoping.

“I’m looking up there (skywards) to the almighty and hoping he might shine down on me.”

The Melbourne Cup is the race dearest to Williams’ heart despite his success in the Ascot Gold Cup this year with Order Of St George.

And he says the European contingent, which he describes as not being overly strong, makes the Cup an intriguing race.

“When KP (Kerry Packer) and I were betting on this race we didn’t have to worry about the international contingent and this European contingent makes it difficult,” Williams said.

“I think the winner could come from any of eight or ten horses.”

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