Tough Task For Melbourne Cup Hopeful Almandin

Almandin will be included in the nominations for the 2014 Melbourne Cup, but co-owner Nick Williams is still unsure whether the promising stayer will play any part during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.

Almandin is the latest imported stayer to join the Macedon Lodge Team.

Almandin is the latest imported stayer to join the Macedon Lodge Team. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Almandin was purchased by Team Williams after he scored an impressive win over fellow Melbourne Cup contender Protectionist in the Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehemr (2212m) at Baden Baden on June 1 and he completed his quarantine requirements just over three weeks ago.

Williams told Racing Ahead yesterday that Almandin had impressed with everything that he has done since arriving at Macedon Lodge, but will likely need another year in Australia before he is capable of contesting races like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

“He is doing everything right at the moment, but he hasn’t had a serious gallop for us yet,” Williams said.

“We got him out of quarantine three weeks ago and it will be an enormous ask for him to do anything major this spring.

“He is lightly-raced, but he is a very promising horse.

“He beat Protectionist fair and square in his last start in Germany, but he has come over here in the standard quarantine, so he has been out of training for the best part of five weeks.

“We were keen to get him here as quickly as we could because it is better to get him acclimatized, but it is a huge ask for him.

“Whether he has the constitution to keep going through the spring only time will tell, but at this point he is doing everything right.

“We will give him his first gallop over the next seven days and we will see where he takes us.”

Almandin made his racing debut under the care of Wilhelm Giedt with a third place finish in the Prix Topyo (2000m) at Maisons-Laffittee in September last year before he joined the stable of Jean-Pierre Carvalho for the 2014 racing season.

The four-year-old finished second in both the Prix De La Savonneire (2000m) at Longchamp on April 6 and the Prix Du Secours Populaire (2100m) at the same venue on April 27 before he stamped himself as a stayer to watch with his win in the Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehemr.

Almandin has also been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and is rated a $41 chance in the betting market for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship with Ladbrokes Australia.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.