Just 12 stayers have been included in the final field for Saturday’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by the inclusion of several previous winners at the highest level of Australian and International racing.
Melbourne Cup hero Protectionist is yet to find peak condition this time in, but is sure to relish a step-up to two miles for the 2015 Sydney Cup this weekend.
Posting five race wins and a further four minor place finishes through his 13 career starts so far, Protectionist began his racing tenure under the guidance of leading German trainer Andreas Wohler but has transferred to the care of Kris Lees for his 2015 campaign.
Hitting the line four lengths in the clear of fellow Sydney Cup acceptor Red Cadeaux in the Race That Stops a Nation, the Monsun entire placed sixth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) first-up on February 28th and has since finished eighth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and fifth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
Allocated barrier 2, Craig Williams has been confirmed to take the ride on Protectionist this weekend.
Red Cadeaux has surprisingly accepted into the final fields for both the Sydney Cup and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) this weekend, and will not be confirmed for a specific target until the eleventh hour.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2012 edition of the Hong Kong Vase (2400m), the veteran stayer etched his name into Australian racing folklore when placing second in the Melbourne Cup for a record third time in 2014.
Having become a fan-favourite as a result of his continued success at the highest level, Red Cadeaux placed a credible fifth in the Australian Cup first-up this time and appears primed for success on Day 2 of The Championships.
Who Shot Thebarman boxed on for a gallant third in the Melbourne Cup and will leave from barrier 10 with Blake Shinn aboard in the 2015 Sydney Cup.
The winner of last year’s edition of the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m), the son of Yamanin Vital has steadily built to the task this time in finishing fifth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and fourth in each of the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) and The BMW.
Hartnell has been a standout performer for Godolphin since debuting in Australia this season and will be very hard to beat in the Sydney Cup.
Given little chance for success in the Chipping Norton Stakes first-up, Hartnell displayed a keen turn of foot to finish a close second to stable mate Contributer before breaking through for a maiden Australian win in the Sky High Stakes a fortnight later.
Having taken out The BMW last time out, the Authorized gelding will carry just 52kgs and will leave from the central barrier 7 with Tommy Berry confirmed for the ride.
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2015 Sydney Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||221141×685||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Kris Lees||Craig Williams||2||58kg||115|
|2||587×000435||DOMINANT (IRE)||John Moore||Joao Moreira||5||56.5kg||112|
|3||x60x4726x5||RED CADEAUX (GB)||Ed Dunlop||Hugh Bowman||12||56.5kg||112|
|4||071103×544||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||10||54.5kg||108|
|5||26x4381x50||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Kerrin McEvoy||9||54kg||107|
|6||521167×211||HARTNELL (GB)||John O’Shea||Tommy Berry||7||52kg||115|
|7||45×5255375||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||–||11||52kg||103|
|8||81023×4302||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Glen Boss||1||52kg||103|
|9||0x51362x89||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||Chad Schofield||6||52kg||94|
|10||30021×0630||RENEW (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Tim Clark||3||52kg||94|
|11||3211×88943||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||4||52kg||90|
|12||10321×0713||DON DOREMO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Sam Clipperton||8||52kg||89|