Headlining the field is the Kris Lees-trained Protectionist, who will enjoy the increase in distance however is still waiting to return to two miles. The five-year-old horse was an impressive winner of the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 4, leaving his rivals far behind to win by four lengths.
The horse resumed three and a half months later with a new trainer in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on February 28 for which he was the $2.90 favourite. Punters were relying too heavily on his Melbourne Cup win as he failed to succeed over the shorter-course.
Protectionist then ran in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 14, finishing four and a half lengths behind winner Spillway in eighth place.
Lees revealed that because horse is a “genuine two-miler” he is no good thing at the mile-and-a-half trip of The BMW but it’s still a nice lead-up race for the 2015 Sydney Cup.
Protectionist will have to overcome a wide start from outside gate on Saturday with Craig Williams to ride. No runner has won The BMW from a gate wider than 10 in the past 32 years.
Chris Waller will deliver a triple-pronged attack on the race after accepting with Who Shot Thebarman, Beaten Up, and Opinion.
Who Shot Thebarman earned a minor placing in the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup last year and the six-year-old gelding has finished strongly in both of his two starts this campaign. He resumed in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on February 28, finishing just one and a half lengths behind the winner Contributer, before running just shy of the placings in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) on March 14.
The gelding will jump from barrier nine with Glen Boss while Beaten Up will start two gates in from barrier seven with Glyn Schofield to ride.
Six-year-old gelding Opinion will enjoy a start from barrier four with Tye Angland as jockey. This has been the most successful starting gate in the race’s past 32 years, providing six winners.
Hartnell shot to the top of the 2015 The BMW betting at Ladbrokes.com.au after making his debut in Australia last month with a strong runner-up finish in the Chipping Norton Stakes followed by a dominant two length win in the Sky High Stakes a fortnight ago.
The John O’Shea-trained UK import will start from barrier three with James McDonald as jockey. Inside barriers are an advantage in the race with horses in starting gates 1-5 winning the race 15 times in the past 30 years, however it’s of note that not one of those winners has come from barrier three. Can Hartnell break the hoodoo?
Other horses that are set to run in the 2015 The BMW include Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) runner-up Extra Zero, who will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one, Japanese horse To The World, and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) runner-up Rising Romance.
Check out the complete field and barrier draw for The BMW below. Open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account to receive up to $250 in a bonus match on your first bet.
2015 The BMW Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x221141x68||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||Craig Williams||12||59kg||115|
|2||x071103x54||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||9||59kg||108|
|3||21x42x8005||BEATEN UP (GB)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||7||59kg||107|
|4||x050160x82||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4||59kg||105|
|5||2322122822||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||1||59kg||102|
|6||4366×21357||FAST DRAGON||Bruce Wallace||Damien Oliver||5||58.5kg||97|
|7||1125x20x2x||TO THE WORLD (JPN)||Yasutoshi Ikee||Nicholas Hall||6||57.5kg||114|
|8||x521167x21||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3||57.5kg||109|
|9||4x4593x544||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57kg||115|
|10||x16130x493||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Jim Cassidy||2||56.5kg||111|
|11||x47226x122||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||Tim Clark||10||56.5kg||110|
|12||834118×966||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||11||54kg||100|