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Moonee Valley 26—8—17

Almandin is on the way back, there is nothing more certain than that after his outstanding performance in running second to Pacodali at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

A second Melbourne Cup is a strong possibility after his amazing performance in the MSC Sign Handicap over 2040 metres.

He took up a handy position running third for most of the trip; he actually had his head in front turning at the top of the straight, only to be run down by the eventual winner, and favourite, Pacodali.

Almandin will pay the price, naturally, having won last year’s Melbourne Cup, but never under estimate his owner, Lloyd Williams; he didn’t come down in the last shower.

He is a shrewd operator; he has made a success in the business world and has since applied much of that knowledge into racing, with amazing results, having been involved in the ownership of five Melbourne Cup winners.

Lloyd doesn’t attend the races much these days; he prefers to watch them on the screen, with the additional advantage of replaying them in slow motion.

He was up at Port Douglas, he could read the race perfectly, he left his son Nick at Moonee Valley to answer all the questions.

Ben Melham received the accolades for a perfect ride, he didn’t allow himself to get bottled up on the fence with nowhere to go, he had a clear run all the way.  

Almandin won’t be his sole representative in the Cup when weights are issued by the handicapper, Greg Carpenter, there is sure to be multiple entries.  

We will have to forgive Tulip for what I thought was a run out of character; she appeared to run her race in patches.

She didn’t clear the gate all that well, running fifth in a field of six for much of the way, and was only a nose in the result.

Maybe it will pay to forget that run as it was her first outing since finishing third in the Golden Slipper Stakes to She Will Reign, and fifth in the Sires Produce Stakes at Royal Randwick.

Spunlago showed a definite return to form with an impressive win in the Ranvet Handicap at Moonee Valley.

The success was well received by Ballarat trainer, Archie Alexander, who has been out of the winning list of late in the city.

There was support for the son of Hard Spun who was popular with punters, he is a six year old gelding and he did shorten up in the close of betting.

“He has come through the race really well, now that he has struck form again he could easily win again, he had a bit to spare when the horses reached the line.”

Hey Doc, the Aurie’s Star Handicap winner, showed he was ready to take on all comers in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, when he galloped between races three and four at Moonee Valley last Saturday.


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