Irish import set to make Australian debut

Lloyd and Nick Williams will unveil one of their potential spring horses at the off-season winter meeting at Flemington. Degraves makes his Australian debut in The David Bourke (1620m) on Saturday, his first outing for Robert Hickmott having previously been prepared in Ireland by dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer Joseph O’Brien. 

Lining-up for his eighth career start on Saturday, Degraves was a two-time winner in Ireland, including at Group 3 level. 

Degraves also lined-up against Armory, runner-up to Sir Dragonet in last year’s Cox Plate at The Valley, in a Group 3 race at The Curragh in August last year. 

Armory has returned to the UK and finished third in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. 

Degraves has not been sighted since finishing well back in a 2012m handicap on September 13. 

Nick Williams said Degraves arrived in Australian around Christmas time and is expecting a good run from the gelded son of Camelot. 

“He’s fit enough but it’s a bit short of his best trip probably,” Williams told RSN. 

“He’s a horse we’ve had since a yearling up there with Joseph until the end of his three-year-old year. 

“He’s a sharper type of Camelot. He’s not what I would call your grinding sort of stayer. He’s got a turn of foot and he should appreciate a bit of juice in the ground. 

“He’s been a long time off the scene, so whatever he does he will improve on, but he has got some ability.” 

Degraves will be the second Team Williams imported four-year-old son of Camelot to be unveiled recently after Hosier, having only his third start, won on his Australian debut by 5-½ lengths in maiden grade at Bendigo earlier this month.