PROTECTIONIST: an eye-catcher in his Caulfield lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
Is this the Melbourne Cup winner?
words bySTEPHEN HOWELL
For those looking further down the track than Saturday's Group 1 Caulfield Cup, it was hard to miss German visitor Protectionist in the run, and at the finish, of last weekend's Group 2 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
The bookies didn't. By Thursday they had him as the $7 favourite for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4, ahead of four who will go around in the Caulfield Cup—the Japanese pair Bande and Admire Rakti, the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina and the Sydney Cup winner The Offer.
This promotion was made on the strength of his "head on the chest" settling midfield on the fence and, after losing some momentum getting stuck behind a slow one and looking for an opening around the turn, finishing strongly to be beaten a only length … and going better than anything on the line.
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