Protectionist has been included in the 2015 The BMW field, but may need some luck in running after drawing at the outside for the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Protectionist produced an outstanding staying performance to win the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he has made a slow start to his autumn preparation and missed the placings in both the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
Trainer Kris Lees is confident that the step-up to 2400 metres will suit Protectionist in The BMW, but he is still unsure whether the Monsun entire is racing well enough to win the Group 1 event and may not reach his best form until he makes the step-up to 3200 metres for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
The 2015 edition of The BMW will have an international flavour and highly-rated Japanese galloper To The World is set to make his Australian racing debut in the $1.5 million event this weekend.
To The World is rated one of the most promising gallopers in Japan and he will be having his first race start since he finished second behind champion Japanese mare Gentildonna and beat the likes of Gold Ship, Just A Way and Epiphaneia in the Group 1 The Arima Kinen (2500m) at Nakayama on December 28.
The King Kamehameha entire will contest The BMW over 2400 metres and is set to drop back in trip for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick a fortnight later.
Silent Achiever upset Fiorente and It’s A Dundeel to win the 2015 edition of The BMW and she will have the opportunity to join Tie The Knot as the only horse to win the Group 1 event in back-to-back years.
The O’Reilly mare has improved each time that she has appeared at the races this campaign and trainer Roger James is confident that his star galloper will be able to handle the quick back-up after finishing fourth in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) last weekend.
Lucia Valentina will also be backing up from the Ranvet Stakes and she will be returning to 2400 metres for the first time since she finished a fast-finishing third behind Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last year.
The Savabeel mare is yet to win over 2400 metres, but she has recorded outstanding performances in both the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and Caulfield Cup and she is set to receive a lovely run in transit from barrier two.
Epona Stakes runner-up Rising Romance, Gai Waterhouse-trained Hampton Court and Bruce Wallace-trained Fast Dragon are also set to back-up in The BMW after running at Rosehill Gardens last weekend.
One of the most exciting runners in the 2015 The BMW field is Godolphin gelding Hartnell, who will have the opportunity to record a maiden win at Group 1 level.
Hartnell made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second behind Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and he was far too strong for his rivals in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
The Authorized gelding is a genuine stayer and Godolphin are confident that the four-year-old will produce an even stronger performance when he steps-up to 2400 metres in The BMW.
The Chris Waller-trained trio of Who Shot Thebarman, Beaten Up and Opinion as well as Australian Cup runner-up Extra Zero round out the 2015 The BMW field.