Monsun gets third Melbourne Cup winner
Almandin (near side): by the late, great German sire Monsun
PICTURE: Getty Images Monsun gets third Melbourne Cup winner By Martin Stevens 12:22PM 1 NOV 2016
MONSUN and the Melbourne Cup proved to be a match made in heaven once again on Tuesday as Almandin became the legendary German sire's third winner of the race that stops a nation in the last four years.
Almandin, a six-year-old gelding trained by Robert Hickmott and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, fought out an exciting finish with the Tony Martin-trained Heartbreak City and got up by a head.
He follows in the footsteps of his paternal half-brothers Fiorente and Protectionist, who won the big race at Flemington in 2013 and 2014.
Monsun is widely regarded as one of the best German sires of all time, having supplied 22 Group/Grade 1 winners in a long career covering at Gestut Schlenderhan.
His haul also includes world champion Manduro, the Queen's Gold Cup heroine Estimate, prolific Group 1 winner Stacelita and German Derby scorers Samum, Schiaparelli and Shirocco – the last named an outstanding talent who also landed the Breeders' Cup Turf and Coronation Cup.
Monsun died in 2012 but he has plenty of sons at stud, including first-crop yearling sire Maxios, Novellist in Japan, Group 1 producers Manduro and Samum and jumps stallions Arcadio, Getaway, Network, Ocovango and Shirocco.
The European stallion ranks will gain another son of Monsun when this season's Prix du Moulin winner Vadamos begins his second career at Tally-Ho Stud next year.
Monsun is also making his mark as a broodmare sire and Sunday's Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Waldgeist is by Galileo out of his daughter Waldlerche.
Other Group 1 winners with Monsun as their damsire include Colour Vision, Guiliani, Lucky Speed, Mille Et Mille, Night Magic, Pastorius and Sea The Moon.
Remarkably, Monsun is also the broodmare sire of last year's Melbourne Cup second Max Dynamite.
Monsun's latest success story Almandin was bred by Schlenderhan out of Anatola, a Listed-winning daughter of Tiger Hill who has also produced Group 2 Gerling Preis winner Atempo.
Anatola is a half-sister to German Oaks winner Amarette – also by Monsun and the dam of Listed winner Amazona. Further back it is the family of German 2,000 Guineas winner Aviso.
Almandin was originally trained in Germany, where he won the Group 2 Grosser Preis der Badischen Unternehmer – beating none other than Protectionist – in 2014.
He was sold to race privately in Australia and had won the Group 3 Bart Cummings at Flemington in the run-up to the Melbourne Cup.
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