Handicapper says Almandin could be one of our great stayers
Racing Victoria Handicapper Greg Carpenter believes Almandin could develop into one of Australian racing's great stayers.
Carpenter has weighted last year's Melbourne Cup winner at 56.5kg for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup in his bid to join Makybe Diva, Think Big, Rain Lover, Peter Pan and Archer as the only multiple winners of the Melbourne Cup.
His 56.5kg for the Melbourne Cup in 2017 represents a 4.5kg increase on the winning weight the Robert Hickmott-trained import carried last year and is the same as given to the 2015 winner Prince Of Penzance last year after winning Australia's greatest race at 100/1.
Almandin is weighted to meet Hartnell 3kg worse than last year however, Carpenter said he believes the eight-year-old son of Monsun is capable of achieving more.
"There's been a lot of discussion about him being an older horse and is well exposed but my view is that he's had three runs at 2200m or beyond in Australia and won them all," Carpenter said.
"He won the race narrowly last year but the runner-up is not here this year and you have the third and fourth home a long way off him.
"I didn't consider him any higher than 56.5kg but in the end when considering the profile of Prince Of Penzance and Almandin, I think he deserved the same weight."
Carpenter said he believes Almandin, a Group II winner in Germany before arriving in Australia, to be an outstanding stayer.
"It's very difficult for a horse to win dual Melbourne Cups, the records prove that, but he's an outstanding stayer," Carpenter said.
"Although he's a European seven-year-old he's only run 13 times for five wins and five placings.
"I don't know quite how good this horse is but he could be one of our great stayers."