Trainer Kris Lees has revealed talented Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist has returned to work at his Newcastle stables this week ahead of a return to competition for major staying events through the 2015 Autumn Racing Carnival.
Receiving an ideal tune-up when fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) upon first arriving in Australia during spring, the talented German import settled in prime position within the field of the Melbourne Cup, receiving an ideal run in transit before displaying an incredible turn of foot to hit the line four lengths in the clear of closest rival Red Cadeaux.
Having transferred to care of Lees from the guidance of leading German trainer Andreas Wohler following his triumph in the Race That Stops a Nation, the Broadmeadow trainer has been thrilled with the condition of the Monsun entire since his return on Monday, who will be kept to a light work load leading into Christmas.
“I think the few weeks out at the farm have done him the world of good,” Lees told The Daily Telegraph.
“He spent a bit of time on the water walker. He’ll be ready to start going three-quarter pace after Christmas and then we’ll build him up.”
Confirming all options remain on the table for the classy four-year-old through autumn, the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 28th appears the most likely target for Protectionist upon his racing resumption.
“Everything is still in the mix,” Lees said.
“We’ll probably decide early in the new year which way we’ll go.”
Finishing outside the places just once over his ten race career to date, Protectionist ran second in each of the Listed Preis von Dahlwitz (2011m) and Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehmer (2212m) before taking out each of the Group 2 Hansa Preis (2413m) and Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Longchamp Racecourse leading into the Herbert Power.