2014 Melbourne Cup contender Protectionist impressed trainer Andreas Wohler with his final piece of trackwork before he runs in the Group 1 event at Flemington next Tuesday.
Wohler returned to Australia on Tuesday to oversee the final Melbourne Cup preparations of Protectionist and the German stayer worked over 1400 metres in the Werribee International Equine Centre this morning; completing the final 800 metres of his trackwork gallop in just over 49 seconds.
The leading European trainer told Sky Racing HQ this morning that Protectionist had clearly come on from his Australian racing debut in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11 and he believes that the Monsun entire is in perfect condition heading into the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
“It was his final piece of work,” Wohler said.
“I couldn’t be happier and I like it more than I did before the Hebert Power.
“He couldn’t be better at this stage.
“He ran a good race (in the Herbert Power Stakes) and just hit a flat spot at the five furlong mark when they quickened the race, but he finished the race really well.
“We always said that the Herbert Power would be the prep race and it looks like he has come on from that race.”
Eduardo Pedroza has ridden Protectionist in the majority of his race starts, but leading hoop Ryan Moore has been booked to take the ride on the four-year-old in the Melbourne Cup.
Moore has received criticism for his past two rides in the Melbourne Cup, when fifth on Mount Athos in 2012 and fifth on Dandino last year, but Wohler is delighted to have the Cox Plate winning jockey on Protectionist in the Melbourne Cup and is not worried that the in-form jockey has not had the opportunity to sit on the back of Protectionist in the lead-up to ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“You need a good jockey and we are lucky to have Ryan on board,” Wohler said.
“He has studied all his form, watched the videos, not only from Protectionist, but from all the other rivals as well because he is a true professional.
“It just didn’t work out that he could have a sit on him because of his travelling, but it doesn’t matter because he is such a good jockey and knows all about him from studying the horse.”
Protectionist is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $7.50 and he is on the third line of betting with Ladbrokes from Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti ($4.80) and talented mare Lucia Valentina ($7).