2013 Victoria Derby Fairy Tale Alive

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The form of 2013 Victoria Derby contender Polanski has been one of the stories of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and the Rakti colt can cap off the fairy tale for his owners if he is successful in the $1.5 million Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.

Polanski will be making his Group 1 debut in the 2013 Victoria Derby and searching for his third straight victory.

Polanski will be making his Group 1 debut in the 2013 Victoria Derby and searching for his third straight victory. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Polanski was purchased for just $4000 by trainer Robbie Laing and after recording impressive wins in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800) and Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (200m) will go into Australia’s richest three-year-old race as one of the best backed runners in betting markets.

Laing told Racing Ahead that he has not been surprised by the stellar Victoria Derby lead-up form of Polanski and said that the three-year-old will be peaking for his tilt at the race that has been over six months in the making.

“The beauty of having decent horses is programming them and we set about this program when he went to the paddock at the end of his two-year-old season,” Laing said.

“We just put a circle around the races that we thought that he would run in.

“He is jumping out of his skin.

“We got permission to give him a trot and canter on the ‘B’ grass this morning and it really lit him up.

“The day before he races, when we don’t do much with him, that is how he carries on.”

Polanski is now into 2013 Victoria Derby odds of $6 and has been one of the best backed runners since the barrier draw was conducted on Wednesday after drawing the inside gate.

Laing said that Polanski was due a favourable draw, after drawing out wide in his last three runs this preparation, and is confident that the Norman Robinson Stakes winner will be able to take advantage of the draw – even if it means leading the Victoria Derby field.

“He has been crying out for a good barrier, even when he won at Caulfield in the autumn he never drew well, and barrier one should give him the run of the race without using any gas at all,” Laing said.

“If there is no speed on I wouldn’t care if he led because he will run the trip right out and he will be bowling along making the others suffer if it gets to that situation.

“I think that San Diego is going to go forward and generally in big fields that attributes to good speed.

“There will be plenty of shuffling and going forward and going back.”

Leading jockey Hugh Bowman will ride Polanski in the 2013 Victoria Derby, and is searching for his third victory in the last four editions of the race, but Laing admits he feels sorry for Dean Yendall who rode the impressive colt in his first three starts this campaign.

“Dean Yendall did nothing wrong on the horse at all, and won on him, and then he was just so unfortunate to get suspended and Hugh got on board,” Laing said.

“The owners had a meeting and the vote went to Hugh because he is one of the best in Australia.”

Laing is searching for his first victory in the Victoria Derby after having little success, with Subiaso (2012), Scelto (2011), Commonage Close (2009), Sir Pentire (2002), in his previous attempts at winning the time-honored race.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.


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