By Jessica Micallef
The looming sale of Lloyd Williams’ iconic racing facility Macedon Lodge has been met with a mixed reaction.
While some residents hope the unique property will be retained as an equine training facility, others are concerned about its long-term use and potential for future development.
Six-time Melbourne cup winner Lloyd Williams is expected to close Macedon Lodge and put it up for sale next year.
The 121-hectare property, which includes more than 8000 metres of track, 25 paddocks and 25 grass day yards is expected to fetch more than $20 million.
Over the years, Macedon Lodge has produced the likes of Mahogany, What a Nuisance, Just a Dash, Reset, Zipping, Gallic, Perlin, County, Plush, Efficient, Green Moon and Almandin.
Keatings Real Estate managing director John Keatings said it would be sad to see the property not used to its full potential after a sale.
“A few residents I have spoken to are upset about the sale,” he said. “It’s a fantastic property and it’s had great success.
“It’s a classic, country property with a success of training thoroughbreds. It’s a great buying opportunity for someone that wants a property like that.
“I would hope that somebody who buys it would want to use it the same way Lloyd has and that they would keep it within the status quo – keep it in good order or improve it even further.
“It would be tragic if nobody wants to have the benefits of all the developments and allow it to deteriorate. That would be sad to see.”
Macedon Ranges Residents Association secretary Christine Pruneau said the potential sale of Macedon Lodge would be received with mixed views from the public.
“I think that the people around the area are hoping the place is sold and that there is no new works or further expansion,” she said. “You’ll find some people that think it’s a magical place. But there have been a lot of people who have not seen it as something to celebrate.
“I think the concern is how the land is used after it is sold.”
Macedon Ranges council planning and environment director Angela Hughes said the potential sale of Macedon Lodge would not affect the visitor economy.
“It isn’t a tourist destination but a private business venture,” she said.
“It is unfortunate that Lloyd Williams is selling Macedon Lodge but we look forward to the new opportunity that this property presents including the potential of a new equine establishment.”
Mr Williams, who is turning 80 next year, has said he will collaborate with Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien in Ireland.