Trainer Robbie Laing is confident that Polanski has the speed required to win the Group 3 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Polanski was set for a staying campaign during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, which culminated in three straight wins in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m), Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), but recorded a race win over 1440 metres during his maiden preparation.
The Rakti colt finished third behind Lankan Rupee and Unpretentious in a barrier trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne last Thursday and Laing believes that he showed enough speed to be competitive in the 1400 metre event this weekend.
“He looks terrific,” Laing told Racing Ahead this morning.
“He is bright and did a good deal of preparatory work before we put the pressure on him.
“That culminated in that trial last week where he showed good speed out of the barriers and I am very happy with him.
“He showed signs of it early last time in, he went to the Danehill a bit underdone because of an issue with a foot, and he was only two lengths off the lead at the halfway mark, pulling like a train.
“I knew he had plenty of early toe, but we didn’t preserve over a mile so we turned him into a stayer and he did a good job of it.”
Polanski has shown a great deal of tactical versatility throughout his racing career to date and Laing is happy to leave the riding tactics up to jockey Dean Yendall, who is reuniting with the three-year-old for the first time since his win in the UCI Stakes on October 5 last year.
“If we get him to begin well we will bowl forward and get Dean to have a look across,” Laing said.
“If they are going along pretty hard he will try to slot in, but if there is no speed I wouldn’t care if he bowled along in front.”
Recent history is against Polanski as no Victoria Derby winner has won the Autumn Stakes the following autumn since King’s High in 1989.
Polanski ($3.10) remains a clear favourite in 2014 Autumn Stakes betting markets from Cranbourne-based Late Charge ($6), the well-bred Rock Hero ($6.50), Victoria Derby placegetter Thunder Fantasy ($7) and the undefeated Pyrrolic ($8.50).