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Almandin firm favourite for Melbourne Cup
Nov 5 2017

Almandin remains the favourite to defend his Melbourne Cup crown and give his owner Lloyd Williams a sixth win in the race he covets most.

Williams has six runners in the Cup at Flemington on Tuesday, three - Almandin, Bondi Beach and Gallante - trained by Robert Hickmott in Victoria.

Johannes Vermeer could give champion Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien his first Cup while Willams's other two - US Army Ranger and Rekindling are prepared by O'Brien's son Joseph.

Almandin is at $7 to win again from barrier 14, three inside his 2016 barrier.

Marmelo, one of a record-equalling 11 European-trained runners, is the $8 second favourite and will be ridden by Hugh Bowman for Hughie Morrison from barrier 16.

"He can go to the front or he can sit back," Morrison said.

"I've been very happy with him the last few days and I think he will go well."

The Darren Weir-trained Humidor, runner-up to Winx in the Cox Plate after a luckless Caulfield Cup, is at $9 and will jump from gate 13.

Last year's third placegetter, Hartnell, racing for Godolphin and Sheikh Mohammed's Australian trainer James Cummings is a $21 chance from 12.

"That's good. I think things can flow on well from there," Cummings said.

"He's freshened up well over the last few weeks."

Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time has barrier nine and is a $26 chance in a race which has traditionally been a guide to the Cup in the past while runner-up Single Gaze is at $34.

Canberra mare Single Gaze's strapper and companion, Billy Owen, drew barrier 11 and was pleased, but more importantly so was his jockey Kathy O'Hara who rode in Sydney on Saturday.

"I hadn't even got off the stage and Kathy texted me to thank me," Owen said.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Cismontane earned his place with victory in the Lexus Stakes on Saturday and last season's champion apprentice Beau Mertens has gained the ride at 50kg.

New Zealand's hopes were dashed when the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Jon Snow was ruled out because he was determined to be lame by Racing Victoria vets.

His absence means Thomas Hobson joins his Willie Mullins-trained stablemates Max Dynamite and Wicklow Brave in the race.

Caryl Williamson - AAP

Race 7 - 3:00PM Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200 METRES)
Of $6,000,000.1st $3,600,000, 2nd $900,000, 3rd $450,000, 4th $250,000, 5th $175,000, 6th $125,000, 7th $125,000, 8th $125,000, 9th $125,000, 10th $125,000
Prize money contribution totalling 2% will be directed to jockey and equine welfare prior to distribution GROUP 1
Handicap, Minimum Weight 50kg, Apprentices cannot claim.
No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Penalty Hcp

1 x2822x1229 HARTNELL (GB) James Cummings Damian Lane 12 57.5kg
2 665111x214 ALMANDIN (GER) Robert Hickmott Frankie Dettori 14 56.5kg
3 212x681352 HUMIDOR (NZ) Darren Weir Blake Shinn 13 56kg
4 242x11711x TIBERIAN (FR) Alain Couetil Olivier Peslier 23 55.5kg
5 232x1521x6 MARMELO (GB) Hughie Morrison Hugh Bowman 16 55kg
6 1132x11x5x RED CARDINAL (IRE) Andreas Wohler Kerrin McEvoy 24 55kg
7 3x45712x23 JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE) Aidan O'Brien Ben Melham 3 54.5kg
8 x11x330x90 BONDI BEACH (IRE) Robert Hickmott Michael Walker 1 54kg
9 1x2x30x91x MAX DYNAMITE (FR) William Mullins Zac Purton 2 54kg
10 121x5x7620 VENTURA STORM (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Glen Boss 6 54kg
11 3642x94491 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 20 54kg
12 0x81424440 WICKLOW BRAVE (GB) William Mullins Stephen Baster 8 54kg
13 113x550214 BIG DUKE (IRE) Darren Weir Brenton Avdulla 5 53.5kg
14 428x320386 US ARMY RANGER (IRE) Joseph O'Brien Jamie Spencer 22 53.5kg
15 6510x39341 BOOM TIME David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Cory Parish 9 53kg 1.0kg
16 031x270x07 GALLANTE (IRE) Robert Hickmott Michael Dee 18 53kg
17 746Px61652 LIBRAN (IRE) Chris Waller Dwayne Dunn 7 53kg
18 202x024x1x NAKEETA (GB) Iain Jardine Glyn Schofield 19 53kg
19 2612x05442 SINGLE GAZE Nick Olive Ms Kathy O'Hara 11 53kg
20 11x6248x22 WALL OF FIRE (IRE) Hugo Palmer Craig Williams 15 53kg
21 9P01712x72 THOMAS HOBSON (GB) William Mullins Joao Moreira 21 52kg
22 210x140124 REKINDLING (GB) Joseph O'Brien Corey Brown 4 51.5kg
23 214x839410 AMELIE’S STAR Darren Weir Dean Yendall 10 51kg
24 2325210331 CISMONTANE (NZ) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Beau Mertens (a) 17 50kg 99

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