Co-owner Lloyd Williams has Almandin in his 2016 Melbourne Cup tips and he believes that The Bart Cummings winner is the horse that is weighted to win the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
Almandin will carry just 52 kilograms in the Melbourne Cup after he was only penalised a kilogram for his victory in the ballot-exempt Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2.
Williams told RSN that he believes Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter would like to have another crack at Almandin and he is confident that the seven-year-old will have every possible chance in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“Almandin is probably the one that you want to measure up,” Williams said.
“In an old-fashioned sense, he has beaten the handicapper.
“He is probably a horse that if you were handicapping today you would probably give him 54 and a half or 55.
“He is well-treated.”
Almandin was purchased by Macedon Lodge after he beat 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist in the Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehmer (2212m) in Germany in 2014, but he suffered a tendon injury and did not make his Australian racing debut until he finished sixth in the Harrison Cup (1600m) at Moonee Valley on June 18.
He recorded his maiden Australian race win in the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m) at Caulfield on September 24 and he secured a position in the Melbourne Cup field with his win in The Bart Cummings.
Williams believes that Almandin has trained on strongly from his The Bart Cummings winner and he was delighted with the way that the Monsun gelding has trained on since that victory.
“He is a horse that has been off the scene for a while,” Williams said.
“When he first came here he was a horse that had better form than Protectionist.
“Unfortunately he had a tendon and was off the scene for quite a long way.
“We worked him on Saturday morning on the course proper at Bendigo, which is a track that I love because it is a big track like Flemington.
“It is pretty hard to see a horse working much better.
“One of my old friends Steve King rode him for me and he was in very good order.”
Almandin is currently available at 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $12 with Ladbrokes, while Hartnell ($5) remains a clear favourite from Oceanographer ($8), Jameka ($8.50) and Bondi Beach ($9.50).