The marquee race of the opening Melbourne Cup Carnival meeting, the Victoria Derby 2013, has this afternoon been won by a $4,000 bargain buy with the Robbie Laing-trained Polanski boosting their earnings to over $1 million with their emphatic victory in the Flemington feature.
The richest race for three-year-olds of the season, $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) was another brilliant edition in 2013 with connections of Rakti colt Polanski looking towards the autumn weight-for-ages with their very promising galloper.
“An absolute fairy tale,” Laing said after the victory.
“No great surprises with him though, he showed great ability as a young horse and every time we raised the bar he jumped it.”
Cranbourne-based Laing went to the 2012 William Inglis and Son Melbourne Autumn Yearling Sales with his eye on a Ratki yearling having fallen in love with the stallion.
He found Polanski and got one of Ratki’s progeny for a steal at just $4,000, some of the owners taking a share of the subsequent Victoria Derby winner for just $200.
Now nine starts into their career the colt has racked up over a million in earnings with today’s $900,000 winners’ cheque.
It had been a lovely lead-up to the Derby for the galloper who was last seen winning the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
That form held today with Polanski handling the step up to 2500m without breaking a sweat, racing away over the final couple of hundred meters to open it up and win by around three lengths.
“The last text I sent to the owners this morning said don’t worry too much, there will be a margin,” Laing said.
Today’s Victoria Derby result also saw jockey Hugh Bowman bag himself a third win in the race from the past four years adding to those he won with Lion Tamer (2010) and Sangster (2011).
“It’s my third Derby in four years,” Bowman said post-win.
“I’d just like to give all the credit to Robbie Laing and his team, he’s a wonderful trainer.”
Of his successful Victoria Derby trio Bowman rated Polanski the strongest, tipping them for more Group 1 glory as they mature.
“I took a lot of confidence after the ride I had on him on him at Caulfield three weeks ago,” Bowman said having also been aboard for their Norman Robinson victory.
“Of the three derby winners this guy’s the strongest.”
Bowman had the winner settled nicely just off the front runners, the pair sitting about sixth or seventh behind the pacesetter Throw The King who really opened up early to sit five lengths off the rest of the pack.
Polanski came with his run at the top of the straight as did backmarker Criterion and the Peter Snowden-trained Sydneysider Complacent who hadn’t run since their Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes victory at Randwick.
Cruising up to them at the top of the straight, they hit the lead early on the run home, but Bowman knew he had a lot of horse under him and was happy to dominate the closing stages of the race after letting the horse slide along earlier.
“I didn’t know how far in front I was but when I pulled out at the 800 metres I thought hold on to him, hold on to him, hold on to him,” Bowman said.
“I let him roll and the worst thing then is you’re worried about getting collared.”
Polanski ($5.50), who jumped at $11 in Ladbrokes.com.au’s double the odds markets, thought didn’t get collared.
Instead they stayed up front and went strongly, proving far too good for their challengers in a big staying effort that would have pleased those backing the Derby market mover.
In second was one-time favourite Complacent ($7) while the Anthony Cummings-trained Thunder Fantasy ($31) added value to the winning Victoria Derby trifecta in third, showing nice improvement from their ninth in the Spring Champion.
Laing admitted he’d been a little worried when Polanski went to the front so early, but that he had full confidence in Bowman.
“He was absolutely bolting, peeled out, went at long way from home but gee he (Bowman) had a lot of horse under him,” he said.
“Like I said to him just before the race, ‘I had 45 rides for one win who am I tell you anything, you just go out there and do your own thing!’”
Polanski is set for the paddock now with Laing keen to follow the path last year’s winner Fiveandahalfstar went down during the autumn.
“I hope this is just the beginning of the new era with R.E. Laing Racing,” the horseman said.
“I want a select team of Group horses now…I was a bit optimistic thought to set a $4,000 horse for a Group 1.
“He’ll go to the paddock now same as Fiveandahalfstar.”
Laing also named the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1, 2014, as their first big assignment of the autumn before heading to Sydney for the weight-for-age races.
The 2014 Ranvet Stakes and The BMW are also obvious targets Laing will set Polanski for after his return.
“When he thickens he’ll be a real star of the turf,” he said.
Punters that placed their Victoria Derby bets online at Ladbrokes.com.au enjoyed the best payouts as they were offering double the fixed win odds on the entire field.
If you missed out never fear, they are running this same incredible offer on next Tuesday’s 2013 Melbourne Cup field as soon as final acceptances are officially released by Racing Victoria from 5:30pm (AEST) this afternoon.
So make now the time you open your Ladbrokes.com.au account to get double the Melbourne Cup odds!
2013 Victoria Derby Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 6 – 02/11/2013
|1||4||POLANSKI||Robbie Laing||Hugh Bowman||–||1||55.5kg||$5.50|
|2||2||COMPLACENT||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||3L||14||55.5kg||$7|
|3||13||THUNDER FANTASY||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||4.25L||7||55.5kg||$31|
|4||1||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Craig Williams||4.45L||12||55.5kg||$11|
|5||10||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||Craig Newitt||6.45L||8||55.5kg||$21|
|6||5||DRAGO||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||6.55L||16||55.5kg||$26|
|7||16||BRING SOMETHING||Ken Keys||Glen Boss||7.05L||10||55.5kg||$21|
|8||7||HONEY STEEL’S GOLD||David Hayes||Luke Nolen||10.3L||2||55.5kg||$71|
|9||14||SURGING WAVE||David Hayes||Nicholas Hall||10.4L||13||55.5kg||$21|
|10||15||FAMECHON||Michael Moroney||Dwayne Dunn||12.4L||4||55.5kg||$31|
|11||9||EPIC SAGA||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Chris Symons||14.15L||15||55.5kg||$51|
|12||6||SAN DIEGO||Peter Snowden||Steven Arnold||14.65L||6||55.5kg||$8|
|13||11||PINSTRIPE LANE (NZ)||John Sadler||Nash Rawiller||20.65L||3||55.5kg||$21|
|14||3||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||21.15L||11||55.5kg||$4F|
|15||12||THROW THE KING||John Sadler||Thomas Sadler (a)||41.15L||5||55.5kg||$101|
|16||8||TIPS AND BEERS||David Hayes||Brett Prebble||49.15L||9||55.5kg||$41|
|–||18e||EMPIRE ROCK||David Hayes||Daniel Moor||–||0||–||–|
|–||17e||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||–||0||–||–|