The Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) has always been a key lead-up race to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and this year’s edition of the race is set to be no different with thirteen quality three-year-olds set to contest the event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Robbie Laing-trained Polanski will carry the top-weight of 57kg, along with Honey Steel’s Gold, after he recorded the biggest win of his racing career in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 5.
The Rakti colt started his campaign with a promising seventh in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and finished an unlucky eighth in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) before he upset a number of his rivals that he will face again on Saturday in the UCI Stakes.
Also backing up from the UCI Stakes will be runner-up Epic Saga, who is searching for his first win this preparation, as well as the fast-finishing Famechon, Gai Waterhouse-trained Rockford, New Zealand import Surging Wave and Murray Baker-trained Orion.
Peter Snowden-trained San Diego will be returning to the races for the first time since he finished sixth in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 27 – a race that has become a key three-year-old form guide after winner Divine Calling and runner-up Shamus Award both finished in the placings in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last weekend.
San Diego has impressed in each of his starts this campaign and has performed like a colt that will relish the step-up to 2000 metres.
Lightly-raced Bring Something is also coming out of the Stutt Stakes and is chasing his first race win after finishing going close to breaking his maiden in his three previous starts at Seymour, Bendigo and Moonee Valley.
The Sebring gelding was caught at the back of the field in the Stutt Stakes and was forced to come around the outside of the field but was still able to fun home strongly to finish fourth.
Another interesting runner in the 2013 Norman Robinson Stakes field is Wendy Kelly-trained Late Charge who will be returning to the races just a week after running in the Caulfield Guineas.
The Hard Spun colt performed fairly, finishing ninth, and produced consistent performances in both the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) and the Stutt Stakes earlier this preparation.
Although it is traditionally one of the two major lead-up races to the Victoria Derby, Sangster is the only horse in the last ten years to win the Group 1 event after having his last start in the Norman Robinson Stakes.