2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist has been included in the nominations for the 2015 The BMW and is on track to contest the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Protectionist stamped himself as one of the most talented stayers in the world when he recorded a dominant four lengths victory in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4, but the Monsun entire has not made a successful transition to weight-for-age racing this preparation after finishing sixth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
The imported stayer will make the step-up to 2400 metres for The BMW before he potentially returns to racing over 3200 metres in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Red Cadeaux finished second behind Protectionist in the Melbourne Cup and the veteran gelding will face his Melbourne Cup rival when he makes his Sydney racing debut in The BMW.
The nine-year-old returned to Australian racing with a credible fifth place finish behind Spillway in the Australian Cup and, like Protectionist, the Cadeaux Genereux gelding will appreciate the step-up in trip to 2400 metres.
Who Shot Thebarman rounded out the Melbourne Cup trifecta and the Chris Waller-trained gelding is also set to make the step-up to 2400 metres for the first time this preparation
The Kiwi stayer returned to racing with a fast-finishing fifth behind Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and he was far from disgraced when fourth in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
Waller is likely to have a strong hand in The BMW after also included Group 1 inner Beaten Up, consistent galloper Foreteller, Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur, imported stayer He’s Your Man, the tough Junoob and The Metropolitan winner Opinion in the nominations for the $1.5 million event.
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The Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) is traditionally the key lead-up event to The BMW and Fast Dragon, Lucia Valentina and Silent Achiever are all a chance to back-up in The BMW this weekend.
Silent Achiever was not disgraced when fourth behind Contributer in the Ranvet Stakes, but trainer Roger James is eyeing a trip to Europe with the talented mare and she needs to produce an improved performance in The BMW for that plan to come to fruition.
Lucia Valentina is yet to record a race win over 2400 metres, but she produced outstanding performances when third in both the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m) last year and she put the writing on the wall for a big The BMW effort with her third place finish in the Ranvet Stakes.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2015 The BMW is Japanese galloper To The World, who has been set for both The BMW and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during his Australian preparation.
To The World is yet to record a win at the highest level of racing in Japan, but he stamped himself as one of the most promising gallopers in the racing jurisdiction with second place finishes in both the Group 1 Japanese 2000 Guineas (2000m) and the Group 1 The Arima Kinen (2500m) last year.
The Japanese galloper is expected to be locked in a battle for favouritism with Godolphin galloper Hartnell, who has made a very successful start to his racing career in Australia.
Hartnell made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second behind stablemate Contributer in the Chipping Norton Stakes and he was far too strong for a quality field in the Sky High Stakes, but will face a substantially tougher challenge in The BMW this weekend.
The 2015 The BMW nominations are rounded out by Peter Moody-trained Au Revoir, Australian Cup runner-up Extra Zero, 2013 winner Fiveandahalfstar, Gai Waterhouse-trained Hampton Court, tough stayer Phrases, David Brideoake-trained Self Sense and talented Kiwi mare Rising Romance.
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2015 The BMW Nominations
|1||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Peter G Moody||107|
|2||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||107|
|3||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||102|
|4||FAST DRAGON||Bruce Wallace||97|
|6||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||111|
|7||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||100|
|8||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||109|
|10||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||110|
|11||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||106|
|12||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||111|
|13||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||105|
|15||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||115|
|16||RED CADEAUX (GB)||Ed Dunlop||112|
|17||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||110|
|18||SELF SENSE||David Brideoake||92|
|19||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||115|
|20||TO THE WORLD (JPN)||Yasutoshi Ikee||114|
|21||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||108|