Almandin a sneaky Melbourne Cup chance

Almandin has shown a glimpse of his best European form with a strong staying victory at Caulfield.

The Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned import broke through for his first Australian victory in the Harry White Classic on Saturday.

Ridden by Damien Oliver, Almandin ($5) defeated stablemate Assign ($6) by two lengths with Black Tomahawk ($3.70) three lengths away third.

Oliver said Almandin was capable of being competitive in some of the better staying races during the spring but thinks the Melbourne Cup may be aiming too high.

The champion jockey said he was impressed with the condition of Almandin as he paraded in the mounting yard.

Before his arrival in Australia, Almandin defeated Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist in a Group Two race at Baden Baden.

“He hasn’t set the world on fire out here yet but he’s got good European form,” Oliver said.

“Today was my first sit on him and I couldn’t have been more impressed.

“Getting out to the mile and a half suited him and while it wasn’t a strong race I liked the fact it was a true tempo and the margins were exaggerated.

“That’s a good sign for a horse going forward.”

Almandin holds a nomination for next week’s Metropolitan at Randwick and also the Melbourne Cup and he has 50kg in both races.

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