A strong Autumn Carnival performance will convince trainer Robbie Laing to lock in a 2014 Melbourne Cup campaign for his Victoria Derby winner Polanski.
But first Laing will be looking to win a second Derby with Polanski after the Rakti colt took out the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Group 1 $2m Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick in April will be Polanski’s major goal during the revamped Sydney Autumn Carnival next year and a good showing there will lay the foundation for a path heading towards the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November.
“He’s a big strong horse who does everything you ask, he eats and thrives all the time, I can’t see why we wouldn’t aim him at the Melbourne Cup as a four-year-old,” Laing told Racing Network.
Polanski was sent straight to the spelling paddock following his win at Flemington and Laing has already pencilled in another short break after the Autumn Carnival before the begins his Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign.
“We will deliberately give him a lighter autumn,” Laing said.
“Maybe two runs in Melbourne and two in Sydney, then another break, see how he is, and determine if he can go to the Melbourne Cup.”
The Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1 is on the agenda for Polanski with Laing not locking in another race before the Australian Derby.
“Then we’ll look at either going to Sydney or the Australian Cup at Flemington,” Laing said.
“I guess it depends on what some of the others, like Fiorente, do.
“Gai might decide he should stay in Sydney for races like the new Queen Elizabeth because it’s worth $4 million.”
The Group 1 $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in March is always an option or Laing could transfer Polanski straight to Sydney for either the Group 1 $550,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) or the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) or both for the three year olds.
Laing is hoping that Polanski will be able to emulate the 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient who was successful in the Victoria Derby the previous year.
In early 2014 Melbourne Cup market order, Polanksi is marked on the third line of betting at $21 behind Mount Athos at $17 and this year’s winner Fiorente at $19.