Trainer Andreas Wohler has confirmed that Protectionist will contest the 2014 Melbourne Cup after he scored a comfortable win in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville on Sunday.
Protectionist went into the Prix Kergorlay as a clear favourite, with only four runners in the field, and the Monsun entire was too strong in the final stages of the race to score a one and a half length win from Fly With Me, Altano and Bathyrhon.
Wohler told the media after the race that he was happy with the performance of Protectionist in the slowly run Prix Kergorlay and he revealed that Protectionist would make the trip to Australia for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on as well as a potential tilt at the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22.
“It wasn’t really a staying race as they didn’t go much pace and Altano isn’t a horse who really wants to lead,” Wohler said.
“I was pleased with both of them and Protectionist will be going to Australia.
“We’re thinking more of the Melbourne Cup than the Caulfield Cup; Caulfield is a very early entry stage so we just put him in.
“We’ll get him down there and he’ll have a prep-race in Australia, I should think in one of the other Cup races.”
Protectionist is yet to make his debut at Group 1 level, but he has performed consistently at black type level since he made his racing debut with a close second in a Group 3 event at Krefeld in Germany in 2012.
The talented entire finished third in the Listed Preis Iffezheimer Derby Trial (2212m) at Baden-Baden on May 11 last year before he scored his maiden race win in dominant fashion in the Listed Derby Trial (2212m) at Bremen on June 23.
Protectionist returned to the races after a lengthy stint away from race with a second place finish in the Listed Preis Von Dahlwitz (2011m) at Hoppegarten on April 20 and was second again in the Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Badischen Unternehmer (2212m) at Baden-Baden on June 1 before he returned to winning form in the Group 2 Lucky Speed Hansa-Preis (2413m) at Hamburg on June 29.
Americain is the only horse in history that has completed the Prix Kergorlay/Melbourne Cup double, while Dunaden and Red Cadeaux both ran in the race before they quinelled the 2011 edition of the Melbourne Cup.
Protectionist is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $26 in the betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.