Ryan Moore's globetrotting continues as he flies from Santa Anita to Flemington in Australia to ride in the race that stops a nation, and here you can read his exclusive thoughts as Protectionist aims to provide him with his first Melbourne Cup success...
"We all know that you need a lot of luck – and a lot of class – to win this race, but in Protectionist I think I am on a fairly handicapped horse, who ran a very promising race in his prep, has a decent enough draw in 11, and we know that he is a horse who gets this trip really well."
I was lucky enough to be on the best horse in the race on Adelaide in the Cox Plate, and I think Protectionist gives me a fair chance of following up in the Melbourne Cup, too.
My previous two rides in the race haven't gone exactly to plan, so I was very happy to have picked up the ride on Protectionist early last month. He has proved himself a progressive horse this season, having the speed to win a Group 2 over 1m4f and then the stamina to win the Kergorlay on testing ground. And he ran a great trial for this when fourth over 1m4f at Caulfield last time, a run that I was quite taken by and very pleased with.
We all know that you need a lot of luck - and a lot of class - to win this race, but in Protectionist I think I am on a fairly handicapped horse, who ran a very promising race in his prep, has a decent enough draw in 11, and we know that he is a horse who gets this trip really well. You can see why he is one of the favourites.
Clearly, this is a high-class and very competitive handicap these days, and you can virtually give all the runners a chance of sorts. Admire Rakti was only beaten a length when fourth to Gentildonna in the Japan Cup and is the worthy favourite here after winning the Caulfield Cup.
The form of the Cox Plate was boosted when the sixth Happy Trails won the Mackinnon, so that is another positive for runner-up Fawkner. And you hear good words for Caulfield third Lucia Valentina and Lexus winner Signoff, too.
But, in truth, you really can give all of these a chance, as I have said, as even the lower-rated horses possess plenty of class. But I have a decent shot at this, though if the ground got too quick that could be a concern.
This is Ryan's last column of the season but he will be back next year with more exclusive previews. Paul Nicholls will be on hand every week of the National Hunt season for more superb insight from the top of racing.
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