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Trainer Kris Lees has provided an update on Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist (Monsun-Patineuse, by Peintre Celebre) who pulled up sore following a disappointing performance in the Gr1 Sydney Cup last month. The German-bred stayer was cleared of any serious injury after scintigraphy scans showed he had bruising on his left knee but no chips or breaks, much to the relief of connections. Lees said that Protectionist was currently enjoying a break at Harry and Arthur Mitchell's Yarraman Park Stud at Scone before undergoing a physical assessment to determine whether he will bid to defend his Melbourne Cup title in the spring. "I was speaking to Harry Mitchell this morning," Lees told RSNs Shane Anderson. "He's up at Yarraman Park. He'll do about another ten days up there. After that he'll do about 3-4 weeks on the water walker and then he will be reassessed. Fingers crossed he'll be right for the spring." The Newcastle trainer added, "We knew there had to be a problem [after the Sydney Cup] so after the scintigraphy we had to wait about 24 hours for the X-rays. We were prepared for a lot worse than what the X-rays showed, so that was a positive." If he does make it to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November, Protectionist will be striving to become just the fifth horse in history to win back-to-back Melbourne Cups.