It wouldn't bother me which one won, so long as one of them does.Nick Williams

Forecast wet weather in the lead-up to Tuesday's Melbourne Cup is likely to see owner Lloyd Williams fill a quarter of the field in Australia's greatest race.

Williams' son Nick was at Werribee yesterday morning to cast an eye over their international raiders and said the team would be keeping a close watch on the weather because rain will mean a certain start for Gallante, who currently sits at No20 in the order of entry.

Williams also confirmed to that reigning Melbourne Cup champion Almandin, Johannes Vermeer, Rekindling, US Army Ranger and Bondi Beach will take their place in the Melbourne Cup.


"At the moment there is a very unsettled weather forecast and Gallante being the wet-tracker he is, there is some chance there could be quite a lot of rain on Monday and Tuesday so we are just keeping our options open," Williams said.

"You only have to look at [Gallante's] run at Geelong [in the Cup] until he started feeling the track in the straight and see how well he was travelling, it looked like he was going to win the race by a mile.

"We are incredibly happy with Bondi Beach ... Rekindling, Johannes Vermeer and Almandin are the obvious ones [that we are excited about] but we're thrilled in particular with the way Bondi Beach is going.

"US Army Ranger is a mystery bag to us and we know Gallante needs some give in the ground but he's flying on those tracks ... we're thrilled with them all and it wouldn't bother me which one won, so long as one of them does."

Williams also highlighted that a win in the group three Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Saturday would hand Aloft a start in the A$6.2 million event.

"Hopefully if things go his way we could sneak Aloft into the race as well and he'd be a terrific chance if he could make it," he said.

All-in markets rate Almandin the top seed and favourite to go back-to-back in the race and Williams admitted it would be his most-loved result.

"I would love Almandin to be able to win back to back."

Confirmed jockeys are Frankie Dettori for Almandin, Ben Melham for Johannes Vermeer and Corey Brown for Rekindling while a decision is yet to be made for US Army Ranger, Bondi Beach and Gallante.

Meanwhile, British raider Charlie Appleby has collected another Bendigo Cup with the fighting win of Qewy yesterday. "It will be a big call to run him in the [Melbourne] Cup and that will be up to Charlie, but he's got to be a top 10 chance in the race," rider Kerrin McEvoy said.