1pt win Almandin @10/1, Melbourne Cup, 4:00AM Flemington, Tuesday

The Melbourne Cup has become one of the highlights of the international flat racing calendar, with many trainers and owners sending their best flat-staying talent.

Willie Mullins, Aidan O’Brien, and Saeed Bin Suroor are all represented with the European challenge looking strong.

Godolphin are mob-handed with five entrants in the mix, including the favourite, Hartnell, who looks like a class act and a worthy favourite. There is some contention around whether his very best-form will be produced over the 2m trip though and that is not a concern that you can overlook in a race where stayers come to the fore.

He does have a decent draw, and receives weight from several market principals, so has every chance of a big run. He is plenty short for a handicap this deep though and with a 100/1 winner last year proving that this race can be a bit of a lottery, he is passed over.

We really like the profile of German-bred ALMANDIN, with top international jockey Kerrin McEvoy taking the ride.

Almandin was purchased by Lloyd Williams in the summer of 2014, after he beat Protectionist in Germany – who then went on to win the Melbourne Cup later that year – and must have been bought with this race in mind.

He unfortunately suffered a tendon injury which kept him off the track for over two years, but he has come on strong over the summer and finally gets his chance today. He may be going on seven-years-old, but with only 11 starts to his name he should be fresh for this and is progressive.

He showed a real turn-of-foot last time out to trounce a decent field in a strongly run race, and looks set to get a similar gallop again with plenty of pace-setters. He is widely-thought to be about 8 or 9lbs well-in for this, and his trainer thinks he has improved on his previous run.

Those comments have garnered strong support in the last few days which has moved him in from 14/1 to 8/1 in places.

We also think he has a big chance and is our selection to take home the Cup.

1pt win Almandin @10/1, Melbourne Cup 4:00AM Flemington, Tuesday



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