Melbourne Cup winning combination of Kerrin McEvoy and Almandin teamed up again for another Group 1 win in the $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill today.
Today was the first time McEvoy has been back on Almandin since winning the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington but it looked like the pair hadn’t spent a day apart.
The Liam Howley trained Almandin ($3) was quick to leave the barriers and McEvoy had the veteran stayer racing in the first three or four for the majority of the race while Mark Zahra had the $2.30 favourite Gailo Chop leading before settling behind the mid race leader Lasqueti Spirit ($151).
Zahra let Gailo Chop stroll to the front at the 300m but the Darren Weir trained import failed to run out the trip but Almandin was strong at the end of the 2400m and will now probably take his place in the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick in a fortnight on day two of The Championships.
Japanese import Ambitious ($21) ran an eye catcher to claim second place while old stager Who Shot Thebarman ($61) put in his claims for the Sydney Cup with a hard fought third just ahead of Gailo Chop.
Part owner Nick Williams was pretty confident that Almandin would head towards the Sydney Cup but did add that there was a slight chance he could drop back in distance to the weight for age Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the same day.
“He is a beauty,” Williams said.
“The horse was just too good for them. It was a very dominant win I thought.”
“(McEvoy) has got two from two and two of the Group 1s. It is fantastic.”
“(The Sydney Cup) that has been the plan unless Kerrin gets off and says the Queen Elizabeth. Maybe we will run him in the Queen Elizabeth. He has a lot of weight in the Sydney Cup but anyway we will wait and see.”
Following his win today in the Tancred Stakes, Almandin is now the $3.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Sydney Cup while runner up Ambitious is now a $9 chance and the Chris Waller trained Who Shot Thebarman’s price has been slashed from $26 to $9.50.