Connections of reigning Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist have confirmed the former German will trial next week ahead of his autumn return with the 2015 Australian Cup first on the agenda.
Prepared by Andreas Wohler for his barnstorming four length victory in the Melbourne Cup over the two miles at Flemington on November 4, Monsun stallion Protectionist is now prepared in Sydney by Newcastle-based Kris Lees.
The Australian Bloodstock-owned five-year-old though is likely to be on show in Melbourne first this autumn carnival targeting the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
Racing Victoria took 69 Australian Cup nominations this week including the Melbourne Cup quinella of Protectionist and triple runner-up in the world’s richest handicap Red Cadeaux.
A decision is pending this week on whether the Ed Dunlop-trained nine-year-old British raider Red Cadeaux will make the trip down under for his maiden autumn campaign here, but Protectionist is well and truly gearing up for his autumn preparation.
Now back in work, the $4 million earner is set to have his first official trial of the season next week at Newcastle on Monday before the Australian Cup first-up and then a trip to Sydney for The Championships.
“Protectionist will go the Melbourne run,” Australian Bloodstock co-director Jamie Lovett told Sky Sports Radio on Wednesday morning.
“We couldn’t be happier with him.
“He seems to have really acclimatised and so far so good.
“He’s down to trial next week.”
In Sydney Protectionist will be aimed at the $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on March 28 and then possibly the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) back up over the two miles on April 11 at Randwick.
Futures Sydney Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Signoff and Who Shot Thebarman at $7 followed by Protectionist and Red Cadeaux on the second line at $9.
Paying $10 is then another Australian Bloodstock-owned import, Terrubi.
Now Prepared by David Payne the Dalakhani stallion hasn’t raced since a dead last in the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Baden (2413m) in Germany on September 7 last year.
Before that however he won the Group 2 Prix Maurice De Nieuil (2800m) at Longchamp in France, Lovett saying he too was coming on nicely but not as quickly as Protectionist.
To check out the full futures markets for the upcoming Group 1 autumn features head to Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account online with the bookie matching first deposits dollar for dollar up to $250 with use of the code word BETBONUS!