Protectionist: wins the Melbourne Cup under Ryan Moore
PICTURE: Getty Images
By David Conolly-Smith 8:57AM 3 JUL 2016
Preview: Hamburg, Sunday (3.45pm BST)
www.pferdewetten.de – Grosser Hansa- Preis (Group 2) 3yo+ 1m4f
PROTECTIONIST (Andreas Wöhler/Eduardo Pedroza), the 2014 Melbourne Cup winner, returns to the big European stage on Sunday when he contests the Group 2 Grosser Hansa-Preis at Hamburg, a race he won two years ago en route to his famous Flemington win.
Protectionist remained down under with Kris Lees after winning the Melbourne Cup but he lost his form completely and was unplaced in eight subsequent starts in Australia before being sent back to Wöhler before Christmas.
The German trainer brought Protectionist back with an easy win in a minor event at Düsseldorf four weeks ago, but he faces tougher opposition now, including Sirius (Andreas Löwe/Stephen Hwellyn), who was third to him in 2014 and beaten in a photo in last year’s renewal.
The supplemented Iquitos (Hans-Jürgen Gröschel/Ian Ferguson) could be an even greater threat, while Meergörl (Roland Dzubasz/Michael Cadeddu) receives a massive weight allowance as the only three-year-old filly in the field
Protectionist should win this if back to his best and his trainer is optimistic. “I think he’s even better now than he was when he won this two years ago,” Wöhler said about his representative, who could again be campaigned with the Melbourne Cup in mind.