More money has continued to arrive for the Robert Hickmott trained Almandin who is now a $10 chance for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today.
Almandin is one of four runners for part owner Lloyd Williams to line up in the Melbourne Cup and the German import is a solid market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au, in from $13 to be equal with one of Williams’ other runners, the Aidan O’Brien trained Bondi Beach at $10.
Almandin gained automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup with his win in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2 and even with his 1kg penalty Williams considered him as getting well in under the handicap conditions with only 52kg.
“In the old fashioned sense, he’s beaten the handicapper,” Williams told racing.com.
“If you were handicapping him today, I’d give him 54.5kg or 55kg. So he’s well treated. He’s a horse that was off the scene for a while. When he first came here, he had better form than Protectionist, but unfortunately had a tendon and was off the scene for quite a long way. He’s the horse you want to rate up.”
Almandin has drawn barrier seventeen in the capacity twenty-four horse field and Kerrin McEvoy takes over from The Bart Cummings winning jockey Damien Oliver.
McEvoy is happy to have Almandin as his Melbourne Cup ride and said the big drop in weight from 55kg to 52kg will be a huge advantage in the 3200m contest.
“I’ve got some nice confidence in the horse, I’m really pleased with him,” McEvoy said.
“It just looks a nice race for him, he drops nicely in weight and he’s had a nice little freshen up going into the big race.”
Sydney Cup winner Gallante at $51 will also carry the Williams navy blue with white armbands colours while stablemate Assign is the roughest of the Williams’ runners at $71.
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell remains at the top of the market order at $6 ahead of Caulfield Cup winner Jameka at $8.50 and Lexus Stakes winner Oceanographer at $9.