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Cup Winner To Lump Top Weight At Valley
Last year's Gr1 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner, Almandin, has been given a top weight of 61kg as he prepares to launch his Spring Campaign in this weekend's Open Handicap (2040m) at The Valley, reports horseracing.com.au. In what will be his first run since his glorious charge last November (see below), owner Lloyd Williams deliberately avoided any Autumn campaign temptation in favour of a more generous spell. He told The Sydney Morning Herald, "Almandin looks very well. He is in good order, we didn't race him in the autumn. It's one of my theories, to give them an easier time. Hopefully we can bring him back for a second go." Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott have also nominated fellow imports Aloft and Hans Holbein for Saturday's affair. Aloft will carry 58kg second-up while Hans Holbein has a more luxurious 55.5kg in what looms as a hotly contested event and early barometer for a host of upcoming distance events.