Lees Wary of 2015 Peter Young Stakes Field

February 26th, 2015

Talented import Protectionist more than stamped his claims as one to watch upon debuting in Australia over spring, but should be allowed time to settle into peak racing condition this time in, according to trainer Kris Lees.

Protectionist is currently favourite for success in the 2015 Peter Young Stakes. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Protectionist is currently favourite for success in the 2015 Peter Young Stakes. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Running a credible fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in his first Australian tilt on October 11th, Protectionist stormed clear of his rivals in the major Group 1 Melbourne Cup, hitting the line more than four lengths in the clear of closest rival Red Cadeaux.

Thrilled with the form and classy displayed by the Monsun entire since arriving at his Broadmeadow stables in November, Lees is wearing of a speed-rich field confirmed for his first-up tilt at the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on Saturday, and is hoping for nothing more than Protectionist to attack the line.

“If it’s a slowly run race and they sprint from the 600 then I think he’ll be found wanting a little bit,” Lees told Racing Ahead.

“If he’s able to get a building tempo and a little bit of clear running then I think he’ll be effective.

“Regardless of where he finishes I want to see him strong through the line. I think he can win under the right circumstances but he’s been pretty well found in the market and I’d be a bit guarded from a betting perspective.”

Allocated the ideal barrier 7, Lees is confident Protectionist is capable of a competitive performance in the 2015 Peter Young Stakes, no matter the end result.

“It appears a perfect draw in the middle of the field to give him options,” he said.

“There doesn’t appear a great deal of pressure on paper so it will be interesting to see how the race is run. There’s a couple of good horses that are more race-fit than him.”

Having secured an impressive total of five wins and four minor place finishes over his ten start career to date, Protectionist has contested just two races under 2000m so-far; a debut victory in the Hannover 2.y.o Maiden (1600m) before placing second in the Group 3 Grosser Preis Herzog Von Ratibor-Rennen (1710m), both in late 2012.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Peter Young Stakes odds, for which Protectionist is available at a quote of $3.80 for success.

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