Internationally acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Almandin in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7 following the dismissal of Damien Oliver’s appeal against a twenty meeting suspension.
Oliver had been locked in to ride Almandin but was forced to fight for the ride after Racing Victoria stewards found him guilty of improper riding in the run to first turn out of the straight in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley last Saturday and suspended him until the last meeting on November 16. .
Stewards alleged that Oliver rode his mount, Happy Clapper, in and made heavy contact with Royal Symphony and then continued to apply unnecessary pressure making contact with that colt on a number of occasions.
Oliver is a three times winner of the Melbourne Cup on Doriemus (1995), Media Puzzle (2002) and Fiorente (2013) and another win would put him equal with record-holders Bobbie Lewis and Harry White, who each have four wins in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation.’
Sydney based jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode Almandin to victory in the 2016 Melbourne Cup and the Robert Hickmott trained eight year old is the $6.50 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au for this year’s running of the famous two miler.
Almandin has had three Spring Carnival runs in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup for a first up second in a 2040m Handicap at The Valley followed by a win in the Listed $120,000 Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m) at Flemington on September 16.
The German import then ran fourth with 60kg on his back to Amelie’s Star in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 7.
Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Almandin, $7.50 Humidor, $8 Marmelo, $11 Johannes Vermeer, Red Cardinal, Wall Of Fire, $15 Thomas Hobson, Rekindling, $17 Max Dynamite, $21 Big Duke, $26 Amelie’s Star, Harlem, Single Gaze, $31 Tiberian, Boom Time, $34 Hartnell, Nakeeta, Abbey Marie, Jon Snow, Ventura Storm, Who Shot Thebarman, $41 US Army Ranger, Wicklow Brave, Bondi Beach, $51 or better the rest.