German 5-year-old Protectionist (Ger) (Monsun - Patineuse, by Peintre Celebre) demolished a quality Melbourne Cup field that included a record number of international gallopers, to take the prize by four lengths.
Ridden by Ryan Moore who was successful a few weeks back in the G1 W.S. Cox Plate on Adelaide (Ire) (Galileo), Protectionist was slightly checked when jumping out of the gates which resulted in the previous Group 2 winner settling back in the field. As the field went past the winning post on the first occasion, 6-year-old mare My Ambivalent (Ire) (Authorized) had taken the lead with race favourite and last start G1 Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry) in second.
With the mare ensuring a very solid tempo throughout, Admire Rakti was one of the first horses to show signs of distress, dropping back through the field as Red Cadeaux (GB) (Cadeaux Genereux) started to circle the field to head towards the leaders, taking the lead as they rounded the home turn.
Last start G3 Lexus Stakes winner Signoff (Ire) (Authorized) started to mount a challenge, but it was to no avail as Perfectionist had weaved a path through the field, charging inbetween the leading duo to race away for an impressive victory, recording a four length win from Red Cadeaux, who finished second for the third time.
The Chris Waller-trained Who Shot The Barman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) came home well along the rail to take third from Signoff who finished fourth, while a length back in fifth was Godolphin’s Willing Foe (USA) (Dynaformer) with the James and Bart Cummings-trained Precedence (NZ) (Zabeel) running sixth at his fourth attempt in the race.
Recording a race time of 3.17.71, the fastest time achieved since Media Puzzle’s (Theatrical) victory in 2002, the win by Protectionist was his fifth victory from only ten starts. Having won the G2 Prix Kergorlay two starts back, a race won in the past by Melbourne Cup winners Americain (USA) (Dynaformer) and Dunaden (Fr) (Nicobar), Perfectionist had a lead up run in the G2 Herbert Power at Caulfield where he finished a solid fourth.
Extract from Thoroughbrfed Daily News/ABC Sports (p)