Williams shares Cup dream with mates

Construction boss Phil Mehrten watched his seven Melbourne Cup runners from the exact same spot in the centre of the Flemington mounting yard as last year.

After all, it brought him luck with Almandin delivering his first Melbourne Cup as an owner after 13 years of trying.

“I am a little bit superstitious,” Mehrten told AAP.

“I just didn’t want to change anything so I thought I’ll stand in the same spot and with a bit of luck we might get a similar result. And we did.”

The Probuild founder had better chances than most, including his mate Lloyd Williams, the most successful owner in Melbourne Cup history.

They included the favourite Marmelo, who Mehrten fancied with Wall of Fire over the Joseph O’Brien-trained Rekindling.

“It’s nice to get one of the seven to win.”

Mehrten and a number of friends shared the quinella with Williams after Rekindling beat out Johannes Vermeer, trained by O’Brien’s champion Irish trainer father Aidan.

Williams had six chances to add a sixth Cup to his already record haul.

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Mehrten had seven.

Mehrten doesn’t expect to eclipse Williams’ record in the race the retired Melbourne businessman covets more than any other.

“I don’t think anyone will beat Lloyd. He is the master.

“Hats off to him and it’s just so nice that we have the opportunity to be involved with these horses with him and Nick and all the guys.”

It was Williams’ son Nick’s idea to bring friends such as music promoter Michael Gudinski, Quicksilver founder Alan Green and Rip Curl’s Brian Singer in on horses like Rekindling, Johannes Vermeer and last year’s winner Almandin.

The Williams like to keep the horses to themselves when they race overseas.

“When they come out here Nick likes to get a lot of friends in it,” Williams said.

“We keep 60 or 70 per cent of the horses ourselves.

“When we get them here to Melbourne Cup day it’s much nicer to have a lot of people in it with you so we can have a proper party.”