2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin will continue his preparation towards winning ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’ a second time when he lines up in the Listed $120,000 Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Almandin made his first race track appearance since winning last year’s Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington with an eye catching second with 61kg to Pacodali in a 2040m Open Handicap at The Valley on August 26.
The German import has 61kg again in the Japan Racing Association Trophy and has drawn barrier eight in the fifteen horse field with Damien Oliver taking over the reins from Ben Melham.
Almandin was allocated 56.5kg for this year’s Melbourne Cup which will be run on November 7 and part owner Nick Williams said the eight year old was on track with his 2017 Spring Carnival campaign.
Almandin was also given 56.5kg for the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 and Williams said it was still undecided if the Melbourne Cup winner would contest the 2400m Group 1 feature.
“This horse’s aim is to try and win back-to-back Melbourne Cups,” Williams told RSN927.
“And if the Caulfield Cup fits into that program that we think helps give him the best chance of winning the Melbourne Cup, he’ll be running,” Williams said.
“If it doesn’t, he won’t.
“It’s as simple as that. We won’t be making a decision at this point in time.”
“Effectively, I suppose he’s got three options,” Williams said.
“He could run in the Caulfield Cup. He could run in the Herbert Power. He could run in The Bart Cummings as a lead-up.
“It worked pretty well for him (last year) running in The Bart Cummings.
“But we’ll let the horse tell us.”
Last year Almandin used the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington as his final lead up run for the Melbourne Cup and went into the famous two miler as a last start winner.
Alamandin is the equal $15 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2017 Melbourne Cup alongside of Japanese stayer Admire Deus and the Aidan O’Brien trained Order Of St George.
In betting for the Japan Racing Association Trophy, Almandin is on the second line at $5 behind his stablemate Crocodile Rock at $4.20.