Polanski is the 2013 Victoria Derbywinner; with the colt producing a strong staying effort to record a dominant victory in the Group 1 event at Flemington this afternoon.
John Sadler-trained Throw The King made sure that the 2013 Victoria Derby was run at a quick tempo and in the middle stages of the race the field was strung out over almost 35 lengths.
Polanski travelled beautifully throughout the run and the Rakti colt responded when asked for an extra effort and kicked well clear of the rest of the field to win the race in dominant fashion from a game Complacent and Anthony Cummings-trained Thunder Fantasy.
Laing purchased Polanski for just $4000 but always believed that the strong colt had plenty of talent and was full of confidence heading into the $1.5 million Group 1 event; even telling owners before the race that Polanski would put a margin on the rest of the field.
“It is an absolute fairy tale,” Laing said after the race.
“There were no great surprises with him, he showed great ability as a young horse and every time that we raised the bar with him, he jumped it.
“My last text to a couple of owners this morning was – don’t worry too much there will be a margin.”
Laing said earlier in the week that he would leave the riding instructions up to jockey Hugh Bowman but said that he was thrilled that the leading rider was able to settle the Norman Robinson Stakes winner in the middle of the field.
“I thought that he was going to race closer but I was very relieved to see him mid-field in a fast-run Derby,” Laing said.
“He was absolutely bolting and he peeled out a long way from home but he had a lot of horse under him.”
Laing was celebrating just his third victory at Group 1 level, after winning the 2004 Adelaide Cup with Pantani and 2006 Australian Cup with Roman Arch, and has had plenty of success in major jumps races but said he was hoping that this was the start of a long run of success at the highest level of racing.
“I hope this is the beginning of a new era with R.E. Laing racing,” Laing said.
“We really gave the jumps a great go through the 2000s and we won every major bar the Gallywood but I want a select team of Group horses now.
“I suppose we were a bit optimistic buying a $4000 horse and turning him into a Group horse but he can go right on with and become a good weight-for-age horse.
“It wouldn’t surprise me when she thickens that he will become a star of the turf.”
Leading jockey Hugh Bowman has been the in-form jockey in the Victoria Derby in the past four years, winning the race with Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011), but said that Polanski was stronger than his previous winners in the Group 1 event.
“It is my third derby in four years but I would like to give all the credit to Robbie Laing and his team,” Bowman said.
“He is a wonderful trainer and he could not have turned this horse out any better.
“I took a lot of confidence out of the ride I had on him at Caulfield two weeks ago and of the three Derby winners this guy is the strongest.”
Bowman said that he could not have been happier with the way that Polanski travelled in the early stages of the race and admitted that he probably made his move a little prematurely.
“When I pulled out at the 800m I thought just hold onto him and at the 600 metre mark I had too much horse so I let him roll,” Bowman said.
“The worst thing then is that you are worried about being collared.
“Hopefully I am back here this afternoon and if not on Tuesday.”