Protectionist Headlines 2015 Australian Cup Field

Two Group One races are running at Flemington this Saturday, including the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), which has attracted a top-class field of 16 middle-distance runners.

Protectionist headlines the Group 1 Australian Cup field.

Protectionist headlines the Group 1 Australian Cup field. Photo by Steve Hart.

Headlining the field is Kris Lees’ newest stable star Protectionist, who enjoyed an impressive four length win in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) back in November. The five-year-old horse resumed in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on February 28 but he was never expected to dominate the distance.

Protectionist finished four lengths off winner Mourinho in sixth place and jockey Craig Williams reported he was not suited to the Caulfield circuit. The horse will enjoy a return to Flemington on Saturday and the extra distance of the trip is sure to benefit him as he jumps from barrier three.

The Peter Young Stakes winner Mourinho is also set to tackle the 2015 Australian Cup but will have to overcome a wide start from barrier 13. The seven-year-old gelding has had a cracking campaign thus far, winning the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) first up followed by a minor placing in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and another win on February 28.

Although he has found recent success over sprint-mile distances, the Peter Gelagotis-trained gelding is more of a middle-distance runner, enjoying four wins and three minor placings from 11 starts over 2000 metres.

Speaking of Protectionist’s past rivals, Flemington will play host to Red Cadeaux’s first Australian start outside of the Melbourne Cup this Saturday. The nine-year-old gelding has been runner-up in the ‘race that stops the nation’ a record three times and was last seen running two and three-quarter lengths away from the winner in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) on December 14.

The Ed Dunlop-trained gelding will jump from barrier 14 with Hugh Bowman as jockey.

Team HawkesEntirely Platinum will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one with Dwayne Dunn to ride. The five-year-old gelding was a fast finishing runner-up in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) back in September and again in the CF Orr Stakes on February 14.

The 2015 Australian Cup will mark the return of cult favourite The Cleaner to Melbourne, who ran third in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at the end of spring.

The Cleaner resumed in the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) in his hometown of Launceston on February 25, leading right up until the final 100 metres but unable to beat Admiral to the line.

The Mick Burles-trained gelding is bigger, stronger, and better than he’s ever been and ready to win his first Group One race. He will jump from barrier nine in the Australian Cup with Steven Arnold to ride.

Damien Oliver will vie to win back-to-back trophies in the race, partnering Happy Trails 12 months after winning with Fiorente.

The Paul Beshara-trained gelding is a Flemington specialist, with all three of his Group One victories coming at the track including the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on November 1.

Happy Trails is at his peak performance third-up after finishing less than one length off Mourinho in the Peter Young Stakes two weeks ago. He will have an advantage over his rival, set to jump from barrier four.

David Hayes & Tom Dabernig will deliver a dual-pronged attack on the 2015 Australian Cup with a last-start winner over the trip Extra Zero and Spillway.

Peter Moody will also double his chances at winning the race, running both Lidari and Au Revoir.

Check out the complete final field and barrier draw below.

Betting is already live for the Australian Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au so head on over and back a winner today! New customers will receive up to $250 in a bonus match on their first bet.

2015 Australian Cup Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 4x60x4726x RED CADEAUX (GB) Ed Dunlop Hugh Bowman 14 59kg 111
2 1x221141x6 PROTECTIONIST (GER) Kris Lees Craig Williams 3 59kg 116
3 5820561×62 HAPPY TRAILS Paul Beshara Damien Oliver 4 59kg 113
4 x431850x96 FORETELLER (GB) Chris Waller Glen Boss 5 59kg 113
5 3232212282 EXTRA ZERO David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Damian Lane 16 59kg 95
6 x12317x131 MOURINHO Peter Gelagotis Vlad Duric 13 59kg 110
7 12111939×2 THE CLEANER Mick Burles Steven Arnold 9 59kg 109
8 x418127318 PUCCINI (NZ) Peter & Jacob McKay Craig Newitt 2 59kg 105
9 x544260x90 LIDARI (FR) Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 6 59kg 105
10 2145×52553 AKZAR (IRE) Darren Weir Brad Rawiller 11 59kg 103
11 426x4381x5 AU REVOIR (IRE) Peter G Moody Ben Melham 10 59kg 107
12 x281023x43 BIG MEMORY (FR) Tony McEvoy Mark Zahra 15 59kg 102
13 1211x18x00 SONNTAG Henry Dwyer Chris Symons 7 59kg 102
14 14x1828x24 ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 1 59kg 104
15 x247844x54 SPILLWAY (GB) David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Michael Walker 8 59kg 103
16 x22x310x71 GREATWOOD (GB) Gai Waterhouse Chad Schofield 12 59kg 101

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