Almandin is one of the early Cup Day market movers in the ‘race that stops a nation’ firming in the 2016 Melbourne Cup odds to hand owner Lloyd Williams a fifth ‘Loving Trophy’.
Williams’ most recent Melbourne Cup winner was Green Moon (2012), the prolific owner now chasing another victory with four horses in this afternoon’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
There’s been a notable flood of money in Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au on the Robert Hickmott-trained Almandin for Team Williams who has firmed in from $13 to $10.
Drawn wide out in barrier 17 in the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field, the lightly-raced import may be a seven-year-old but he has only raced 11 times to date.
Of those he has won four, the Monsun gelding having just his sixth start down under in the famous Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (AEDT) this afternoon.
He had two years between runs from his last overseas start and his Australian race debut in June of this year.
With form around the 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist back in Europe, Almandin has been steadily building up to his maiden Group 1 and two mile assignment.
He comes off back-to-back spring wins, the latest in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2.
Dropping from 55kg to just 52kg in the Melbourne Cup weights, Almandin has been kept fresh by Hickmott and connections.
Kerrin McEvoy jumps aboard in place of Damien Oliver who rides Melbourne Cup rival Exospheric for Team Freedman today.
McEvoy won the 2000 Melbourne Cup aboard Brew, while Oliver is a three-time winning hoop in the race most recently aboard Fiorente (2013).
Fiorente was the last Melbourne Cup favourite to salute for the punters, and the only one to do so in the past 10 years of Melbourne Cup results.
This year’s top fancy is the John O’Shea-trained Authorzied six-year-old Hartnell.
The Turnbull Stakes winner and last start Cox Plate runner-up to the unstoppable Winx has eased out from $5 to $5.50 in the latest Melbourne Cup markets.
He comes off the right lead-up run historically speaking, with four Melbourne Cup winners since 2001 coming off that weight-for-age classic.
Of the single-figure Melbourne Cup fancies this spring, the one the punters are starting to come for is Jameka ($8.50 into $8).
Ciaron Maher’s four-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie is looking to emulate Ethereal (2001), who was the last Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double winner.
Jameka was super impressive with her three length Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) win, but can she turn the tables on Hartnell who earlier beat her home by the same margin in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m)?
Also at single-figures is Oceanographer, but the Charlie Appleby-trained British raider has eased out from $7.50 to $9 to complete the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double three days apart.
The other major Melbourne Cup market mover is the equal 57kg top weight Big Orange ($18 into $13), also out to be the first British-trained Melbourne Cup winner.
He was fifth in the race last year narrowly beaten, and is out to go one better and become just the third Melbourne Cup winner to do so off a run in the previous year’s race in the international era (from 1993).
See below for the latest Melbourne Cup 2016 odds, markets open now at Ladbrokes.com.au where punters can enjoy Odds Boost on Hartnell and co. for the best value Melbourne Cup betting!