Almandin with ideal prep for another Melbourne Cup win

Almandin Eyeing A Repeat at Melbourne Cup 2017

In 2016, the Melbourne Cup meeting at Flemington attracted a total topping $600 million in bets for the very first time and with such a buzz around the Spring Carnival during 2017, the betting public are raring to go once again.

A small army of 55 horses reach the acceptor stage this week, headed by Almandin who won the famous two mile contest last year for legendary trainer Bart Cummins.

The figures do not include the Sportsbook and Exchange betting in the UK, while Hong Kong punters contributed $62.7 million in turnover on 17 races over the four days; Japanese punters bet $8.73 million on the Melbourne Cup itself, once again showcasing their appetite for a huge International race.

But it was the Aussie trained seven-year-old Almandin who found the reserves to pull out more in a blanket, driving finish under Kerrin McEvoy to send his backers into raptures. Going off at 10/1 SP on the day, he was well fancied to run a big race.

Kerrin McEvoy – formerly a top UK based jockey for Saeed Bin Suroor – won his second Melbourne Cup, a full 16 years after winning his first, delivering famous owner Lloyd Williams with his fifth Cup win in the process. For Heartbreak City just a nose back in second place, well, that horse’s name sums up feelings of how agonisingly close he came to glory on the day.

Almandin’s career has been chequered with injuries and before November of last year and his biggest win to date, he had been limited to just eleven starts despite not being all too young at six years old. A two-year spell out was ended with taking wins at Caulfield and Flemington, which set the wheels in motion for a tilt at the big one a month after the latter mentioned prep race.

Why Almandin will win Melbourne Cup 2017

It was something of a surprise to see Almandin go off at odds as big as 4/1 for a 1m 4f Listed event after a year since the Melbourne Cup, because we know he has the ability to go well fresh after a long absence from the track. But he won the race comfortably and duly went off at 6/5 favourite three weeks later for a Group 3 race over the same trip.

A new betting contender for the 2017 Melbourne Cup emerged in the form of winner Amelie’s Star, who now trades at around 12/1. Almandin could only manage fourth place this time, but travelled with his usual level of professionalism and didn’t send out too many alarm bells in regard to his obvious main target this Spring.

It is no easy thing to defend a Melbourne Cup, but we know it is possible. Almandin isn’t a young buck, or a flashy type by any means but he did seem to really take to this Melbourne Cup race very well in 2016 and given his unconventional background, perhaps he is simply made for this race. On November 7th, we’ll find out to what extent that is the case.

Almandin at Melbourne Cup 2016