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Group 1 winner out of autumn

Homesman has joined Yucatan as having the autumn off with part-owner Lloyd Williams confirming on Monday the pair will not race again until the spring.

The Caulfield Cup runner-up and Underwood Stakes winner of last spring had been nominated for next month’s $1.5 million Australian Cup at Flemington, but the Macedon Lodge stable has opted to keep the five-year-old on ice with a view to next spring’s feature races.

Homesman had been installed as the equal third favourite at $11 for the Australian Cup on March 9 by BetEasy behind Avilius and Night’s Watch.

Yucatan’s Australian debut in last spring’s group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield forced him into favouritism for the Melbourne Cup, where he finished 11th.

He was not among the autumn feature race nominations in Melbourne or Sydney.

Macedon Lodge is likely to be represented by last spring’s Sandown Classic winner The Taj Mahal in Saturday’s Group 2 Peter Young Stakes over 1800 metres at Caulfield. He also holds nominations for the Australian Cup, Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.

The Taj Mahal could have some big names alongside him in one or more of those races with Williams also confirming that his 2017 Melbourne Cup quinella horses Rekindling and Johannes Vermeer could make their long-awaited returns in the Australian Cup.

Almandin, the nine-year-old winner of the 2016 Melbourne Cup, has not started since failing as favourite in last autumn’s Sydney Cup but he too is a chance to resume at Flemington next month with the veteran also holding nominations for the Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Homesman (inside), picture Quentinjlang.com

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