Any horse that can follow a win in a race named after Harry White with victory in a race seven days later in a race named after Bart Cummings deserves to race in the Melbourne Cup and so it is with imported horse Almandin.
No rider has ridden more than the four Melbourne Cup winners that White rode and of course, no trainer has come near the 12 Melbourne Cup winners that Cummings trained and so Almandin goes into next month’s $6.2 million race with some credentials, especially given his dominant performance on Sunday.
Almandin is eligible for a re-handicap for the Melbourne Cup on November 1 for which he is now free from the ballot. He was weighted on the minimum of 50 kilograms when handicaps were released last month.
Trained by Robert Hickmott on behalf of four-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams, Almandin, who is the highest-rating horse imported to Australia by the owner, was expertly handled by Damien Oliver en route to a 1.5-length victory in The Bart Cummings on Sunday.
Only a nose separated Excess Knowledge and Zanteca in last year’s Lexus Stakes also over 2500 metres at Flemington and that duo filled the minor placings with Zanteca ahead of Excess Knowledge by a half-length on the line. Read more….