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Almandin is entered to return to the scene of his Melbourne Cup triumph

Almandin is entered to return to the scene of his Melbourne Cup triumph in a Listed race at Flemington.

Last year’s Cup winner is the headline entry for Saturday’s Listed Japan Racing Association Trophy over 2500m, with the field of 15 also including five of Almandin’s Robert Hickmott-trained stablemates.

Almandin made his first race appearance since last November’s Melbourne Cup win when he finished second to in-form Pacodali in a 2040m handicap at Moonee Valley on August 26.

Damien Oliver has been booked to ride the eight-year-old gelding in Saturday’s race in which he has topweight of 61kg under the Quality handicap conditions.

He is at $6 in an early market with stablemate Crocodile Rock, to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, favourite at $5.

Stablemates Bondi Beach, Aloft, Hans Holbein and Granddukeoftuscany are also in the field.

Pacodali is one of four acceptors for the Darren Weir stable but he is also the $2.60 favourite for Friday’s Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) in NSW.

On Tuesday, Almandin was given 56.5kg for his Melbourne Cup defence, a rise of 4.5kg on the weight he carried to victory last year.

He shares the top line of betting with Hartnell at $13 in the TAB’s Melbourne Cup market.

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