Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Almandin heads up the twenty-four nominations for the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Almandin. above, heads up the nominations for The Bart Cummings at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Almandin. above, heads up the nominations for The Bart Cummings at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Robert Hickmott trained, Lloyd Williams owned Almandin won last year’s The Bart Cummings before going on to win the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.

The European import is on track to make it back to back Melbourne Cup wins with two outstanding runs from his 2017 Spring Carnival outings.

Almandin resumed from a spell to flash home for a second placing to Pacodali in a 2040m Handicap at The Valley on August 26 and then went to win the Listed $120,000 Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m) at Flemington on September 16.

Three times Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver was on board Almandin in the Japan Racing Association Trophy win and will hold the reins again this weekend.

“At this point Almandin is likely to have his next run in Bart Cummings this Saturday at Flemington,” part owner Nick Williams tweeted.

Almandin has seven stablemates among the nominations for The Bart Cummings, Bondi Beach, Assign, Gallante, Amralah, Aloft, Crocodile Rock and Granddukeoftuscany but at this stage the stable is uncertain how many final runners they will have.

The winner of The Bart Cummings is exempt from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup and an in-form horse like Harlem who is well down in the Melbourne Cup weights would gain an automatic start in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’ on the first Tuesday of November.

Harlem has already secured a place in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 with a win in the ballot free Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) (2000m) at Caulfield on September 23.

As well as Harlem, the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have also nominated Ventura Storm, Harlow Gold and Fanatic for The Bart Cummings.

Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir has three entries for The Bart Cummings, Amelie’s Star, Kellstorm and Yogi.

Nominations for the 2017 The Bart Cummings (2500m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp Rating
1 x665111x21 ALMANDIN (GER) G 8 Robert Hickmott 1 60kg 112
2 01121x5x76 VENTURA STORM (IRE) H 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 2 58kg 106
3 x37710x247 TALLY G 5 James Cummings 3 57.5kg 105
4 x11x330x90 BONDI BEACH (IRE) G 6 Robert Hickmott 4 57kg 104
5 x9210x71x0 ASSIGN (IRE) G 7 Robert Hickmott 5 57kg 104
6 x4214x8394 AMELIE’S STAR M 6 Darren Weir 6 54.5kg 103
7 384x386x51 HARLEM (GB) H 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 7 56.5kg 103
8 x031x270x0 GALLANTE (IRE) G 7 Robert Hickmott 8 55.5kg 101
9 0x0D71x000 AMRALAH (IRE) H 8 Robert Hickmott 9 55.5kg 101
10 7x39x12x13 ALOFT (IRE) G 6 Robert Hickmott 10 55kg 100
11 65123×8135 BROADSIDE (NZ) G 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 11 54kg 98
12 1x75459x70 KINEMA (IRE) G 7 Chris Waller 12 54kg 97
13 x34340x468 HARLOW GOLD (NZ) M 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 13 54kg 93
14 9x97860x04 PENTATHLON (NZ) G 6 John Wheeler 14 54kg 93
15 184260×504 FANATIC (NZ) M 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 15 54kg 90
16 482x542x99 VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE) G 6 Michael Moroney 16 54kg 90
17 1x1x21x322 CROCODILE ROCK (IRE) G 6 Robert Hickmott 17 54kg 87
18 9×17351116 KELLSTORM (IRE) H 5 Darren Weir 18 54kg 86
19 168×211314 YOGI (NZ) G 5 Darren Weir 19 54kg 84
20 0x0x770x00 MAGICOOL G 6 Tony Romeo 20 54kg 84
21 4051421427 SUPER HAZE (IRE) G 6 Tony McEvoy 21 54kg 82
22 410910×002 SLY ROMANCE (NZ) G 6 Richard Laming 22 54kg 78
23 x9x5644276 GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY (IRE) G 7 Robert Hickmott 23 54kg 74
24 x900937096 CRAFTY CRUISER G 10 Bryce Stanaway 24 54kg 70

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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