Melbourne Cup hero Protectionist was unable to reach peak condition through a reasonably disappointing Autumn Carnival campaign, but has been confirmed to resume this time in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 5th.
Protectionist more than stamped his claims as a serious stayer upon debuting to racing during the 2014 Spring Carnival; running a credible fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before producing a monumental final straight sprint to take out the major Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) by more than four lengths.
Having suffered a few minor ailments that all but ruined his chance of a return to the winner’s circle during the Autumn Carnival, Trainer Kris Lees told AAP he is remaining cautious with the classy German import but is pleased with his overall condition leading into the 2015 Chelmsford Stakes.
“Physically he seems fine,” Lees said.
“After every gallop we’re very cautious.”
Lees was pleased with a gallop completed by the Monsun entire last week and revealed he will next complete a barrier trial in Newcastle on Monday before the 2015 Chelmsford Stakes.
“We just wanted to bring him for a day out,” Lees said.
“He’s only had one trial so we just wanted to get him in a bit of a raceday environment.”
Posting a commendable five wins and four minors through only fourteen career starts so far, Protectionist began his racing career under the guidance of notable German trainer Andreas Wohler; transferring to the care of Lees following his Melbourne Cup campaign.
Returning this year for sixth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on February 28th, Protectionist ran eighth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and fifth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m); returning to the paddock after finishing seventh in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
The 2015 Chelmsford Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, September 2nd.
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