German trainer Andreas Wohler has returned to Melbourne to prepare Magic Artist for the Mackinnon Stakes.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup-winning trainer has also taken the opportunity to inspect Protectionist, in quarantine before returning to Germany.
Protectionist stayed in Australia after his Cup success last year to be trained by Kris Lees but is returning to Wohler’s care after running 15th in the Caulfield Cup.
Tests revealed Protectionist suffered bone bruising to all four fetlocks after the Caulfield Cup. He injured a knee in the Sydney Cup in April.
Wohler headed to Rosemont Stud, a little under an hour from Werribee where Magic Artist is stabled for his Mackinnon Stakes attempt at Flemington on Saturday, to inspect Protectionist on Wednesday.
“He looks well but we just have to see, give him time to recover,” Wohler said.
“It’s too early at the moment to say anything about any future plans.”
Wohler hinted the firmer tracks in Australia may be behind Protectionist’s latest injury woes.
He said Protectionist had a smooth campaign leading up to last year’s Melbourne Cup with his only major worry coming as an early three-year-old.
“He had an accident with a deer at the start of his three-year-old year,” Wohler said.
“He broke his splint bone that had to be operated on but that’s been his only issue.”
While he is giving no time frame on when Protectionist may make a return to racing, he’s looking forward to Magic Artist’s Australian debut.
Owned in similar interests to Protectionist, Magic Artist will be having his first run since finishing unplaced in Munich in July.
“I’m quite confident the horse will run very well, I’m just hoping it doesn’t rain too much,” Wohler said.
“He looks great, he’s doing his work great and hopefully he’s going to run a great race.”
Magic Artist is rated an $11 chance in an open Mackinnon Stakes with Godolphin galloper Magic Hurricane the $6 favourite.