Trainer Andreas Wohler believes that German stayer Protectionist has the turn-of-foot required to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 4.
Protectionist is currently at Newmarket in England serving his two weeks in quarantine before he arrives in Australia on Saturday and Wohler told Sky Racing HQ that the Monsun entire was in great condition ahead of his maiden trip to Australia for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
The four-year-old is yet to make his debut at Group 1 level, but he defeated a small field to win the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in France on August 24, the same race won by Americain in 2010 before he took out the Melbourne Cup, and Wohler believes that Protectionist showed that he has the acceleration required to win ‘the race that stops a nation’
“He is a very relaxed horse and hopefully he takes it well,” Wohler said.
“He is a horse that has improved from race to race and hopefully he keeps on improving.
“That is the key for the big race in Melbourne.
“He doesn’t mind at all with big fields, he travels very well and he can go any pace.
“Last time it was good to see that he travelled well and still accelerated.
“It was a staying race over 3000 metres, but it was a slow run race and he still sprinted well and we were really happy with that.
“It was a big confident boost for the horse as well.
“We have always thought a lot about this horse.
“As a two-year-old and three-year-old he didn’t have much luck, but now he is doing us a lot of confidence.”
Protectionist was included in the 2014 Caulfield Cup second acceptances that were released by Racing Victoria yesterday, but Wohler revealed that the talented stayer is unlikely to take his place in the field for the Group 1 event at Caulfield on October 18.
Wohler said that Protectionist was likely to run in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11 before having a three week break ahead of the Melbourne Cup.
“That is our plan,” Wohler said.
“If he takes to the travelling really well our plan is to have a run at Caulfield on the 11th in the Herbert Power Stakes and that is our target if everything goes well.”
Protectionist is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $21 in the betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.