Owner Lloyd Williams has pencilled in a comeback race for Melbourne Cup winner Almandin but suggested Racing Victoria add more staying races in the lead-up to the big spring cups.
Almandin hasn't raced since his Melbourne Cup triumph last spring but Williams told the Herald-Sun he was considering the Group I Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 16 as the import's first-up assignment.
Williams said the Makybe Diva Stakes was not his first choice but there aren't enough viable options for stayers that have a rating of 100 or more. Almandin was rated 114 after his Melbourne Cup win.
Williams said the issue was apparent in the August and September calendars.
"In Melbourne it is very difficult as there aren't any races at 2000m or further at weight-for-age or quality set weights handicaps in those months," Williams said.
"Horses which are rated at 100 and over are very difficult to place in lead up races to our major races. I hope over time the industry amends the program."
The Hall Of Fame inductee, who has made an art form of targeting high-priced imports at big Australian races, said the situation favoured Caulfield and Melbourne Cup hopefuls trained overseas.
"In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe it is much easier to prepare stayers as there are more set weight races over distances at 2000m, 2400m, 2600m and 2800m," Williams said.
Brad Waters Racenet