Protectionist: has been cut to regain his Melbourne Cup crown
PICTURE: Getty Images
By David Conolly-Smith 5:00PM 3 JUL 2016
Report: Hamburg, Sunday
pferdewetten.de – Grosser Hansa-Preis (Group 2) 3yo+, 1m4f
PROTECTIONIST (Andreas Wohler/Eduardo Pedroza) was cut to 25-1 (from 33) for the Emirates Melbourne Cup by Paddy Power on Sunday after an easy win in Hamburg’s Grosser Hansa-Preis – a race he landed in 2014 en route to victory in Australia’s biggest race.
After a comfortable victory in a minor event at Dusseldorf four weeks ago, he met much better opposition but dealt with them as if they were second-raters.
Eduardo Pedroza had Protectionist in fourth place as Vif Argent made the running at a decent pace given the testing conditions, and as the field swung wide into the straight Protectionist moved into the firing line with the minimum of effort. He led just under two furlongs out and scored without overexerting himself.
The supplemented Iquitos, who had won a similar race at Baden-Baden last time, ran on well for second but was never a threat. Guignol was third and Techno Queen fourth.
‘We’ll take it race by race’
Regarding future plans for Protectionist, winning trainer Andreas Wohler said: “We have plenty of time and aren’t making any decisions for the moment. The horse comes first and we shall do whatever we feel is in his best interests.
“I was really impressed with the way he won today, but we know he’s had his problems so we’re going to take it race by race, and his Australian owners are in full agreement.”
Wohler, who regained the six-year-old after he had a spell in Australia with Kris Lees after winning the Melbourne Cup, added: “He’s clearly going the right way; the ground today wasn’t ideal but he still had much too much class for the others.”
Protectionist is just 14-1 for the Melbourne Cup with German-specialist bookmaker Racebets, while bet365 go 33-1 and Sky Bet 20-1. The market is headed by Gold Cup winner Order Of St George at a best-priced 12-1.