Owner Lloyd Williams with Rekindling (GB) after winning the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on November 07, 2017 in Flemington, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

It's six of the best for Lloyd Williams

“I’m only half way to Bart’s record – and I think I’ll need to live until I’m 101 to overtake him.”

So said Lloyd Williams, after the Hall of Famer owner claimed a record sixth Melbourne Cup victory when his British-bred galloper Rekindling powered home under Corey Brown to beat fellow overseas raider Johannes Vermeer, and become the first three-year-old since 1941 to win ‘the race that stops a nation’.

The Bart in question is of course ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings, the legendary trainer whose 12 wins is a record in Australia’s most prestigious race. And whilst Williams concedes it will be a mammoth effort to win another six, having retained the trophy following Almandin’s triumph 12 months ago, the task is anything but a forlorn one.

Quick to point out that this was a team effort, Williams was not the only one celebrating at 3.03pm on Tuesday afternoon. Rekindling’s ownership syndicate includes his son Nick and Michael Gudinski, the entrepreneur and businessman who is a leading figure in the Australian music industry having formed the highly-successful record company Mushroom Records in 1972.

Mushroom Records were responsible for launching the singing career of Kylie Minogue, and Gudinski would certainly have been feeling ‘lucky lucky lucky’ after scooping a share of the $3.25m prizemoney awarded to the winning connections. It was Gudinski’s second Emirates Melbourne Cup success, having first tasted victory through his part-ownership of Almandin last year, and is unlikely to be his last given his close affinity to the Williams family.

It was also a second victory in the world’s richest two-mile handicap for Brown, whose decision to return to his native Australia after a stint riding in Singapore has paid rich dividends.

Brown guided Shocking to glory in 2009, but revealed that this victory was even more special as he was able to share the moment with his three daughters Hollie, Charlie and Maddy, who were all trackside with his wife Kylie. Indeed, the only two combatants experiencing that winning Flemington feeling for the very first time were Rekindling and his trainer Joseph O’Brien, son of legendary horseman Aidan who was denied a first Melbourne Cup when Johannes Vermeer was chased down in the shadow of the winning post.

Joseph, who was forced to cut short his burgeoning career as a jockey after conceding defeat in his battle to keep his riding weight down, was making his maiden voyage to the Spring Racing Carnival, and struck gold at the first time of asking to step out of his father’s sizeable shadow.

Speaking at a media call the morning after his remarkable triumph, O’Brien Jnr. had lost none of his boyish zest and enthusiasm – not least as, like his father, he avoids alcohol. Indeed, the 24-year-old appeared almost as fresh as Rekindling, who like his trainer has the benefit of youth on his side.

Though the enormity of his achievements had slowly started to sink in, O’Brien was quick to deflect praise and readily paid tribute to his stable staff.

“Rekindling is a very straightforward horse to train, so that makes my job much easier,” he said.

“Mark, Shane and MJ, the lads who have been with the horse over here, have done a great job with him. They’ve kept him ticking over nicely and helped him settle in well, so they deserve a lot of the credit. I only flew in from America on Monday morning, so I haven’t really had a whole lot to do with him to be perfectly honest!

“A lot of the success is down to them and to Corey, who knows what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup. Corey gave him an unbelievable ride, he had a dream run and the race couldn’t have panned out any better. It was probably beginners’ luck and it’ll be tough to do it again, but we’ll certainly be trying again in the future.”