The Australian Cup 2014 at Flemington in March next year is looking like a possible autumn assignment for Robbie Laing’s Victoria Derby winning colt Polanski.
The three-year-old son of Rakti hit the big time this spring in Melbourne winning three on the trot as they continued to rise in distance and class.
Having won just one of their previous six starts before the victorious streak began in October, the $4,000 bargain buy won their first black type in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on the fifth of last month.
They backed up a fortnight later to take out the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield before their maiden Group 1 assignment on November 2.
Seeing the 2500m for the first time Polanski, ridden by Hugh Bowman, did it with ease proving their potential as a genuine stayer to watch when winning the $1.5 million Victoria Derby by three lengths over the Peter Snowden-trained Complacent.
Sent for a well-earned break after the Derby, Polanski is getting ready to come back into work in a few weeks’ time ahead of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
“He’s put on a bit of weight and his coat actually looks better than when he ran in the Derby,” Laing told Racing Victoria this week.
“He’ll have just another few weeks out and then we’ll bring him in before he gets too hot.”
While their Cranbourne-based trainer Laing is still weighing up autumn assignments, one race he’s seriously looking at is the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Victoria’s premier racecourse on March 8.
Leading up to the Australian Cup 2014 Polanski will likely test their legs over 1400m in their resuming run before going up to the mile for the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 1.
Although Polanksi admits that lead-up does present some time constraints in regards to recovery.
“He’ll probably run over 1400 first up and then the (Australian) Guineas,” he said.
“The Australian Cup is only a week later, that’s a little bit of a tricky one because we’ve been spacing him a fortnight apart.
“But it was such a good race for the three-year-olds (last year) we’ll be looking at the Australian Cup as well.”
This year’s Australian Cup was won by the then three-year-old Super Cool ahead of Fiveandahalfstar, also three, who went on to run second in the Ranvet Stakes before winning The BMW.
Laing is also excited about the autumn prospects of his progressive sprinter Lord Of The Sky.
The three-year-old Danerich colt is only lightly raced with two previous career runs, the latter of which they broke their maiden status in when putting three and a half lengths on Monkstone to win over 1000m at Caulfield as a juvenile during July.
They had a hitout at Cranbourne back on October 22 and won that by three lengths too before another successful trial at the same track on Monday.
Their trainer is confident of improvement when they resume Saturday week at Caulfield having been scratched from a Melbourne Cup Day race at Flemington at the start of the month.
“He spelled at a beautiful place on the (Mornington) Peninsula, but he had a temperature of 40 when he came back, lost a lot of weight and took ages for him to lose his winter coat,” Laing told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“Because we think so highly of him we’ve just let him tell us when he’s ready to go.
“He runs at Caulfield on Saturday week in a 0-78 three-year-old over 1000. When he missed running on Melbourne Cup Day, that’s the one we pencilled in, and we’ll claim again on him and I think he’s back to his best now.”
For their winning trial on Monday, which they cruised home in to win by eight lengths in a speedy 45.10 seconds over the 800m, Lord Of The Sky was ridden by Darren Gauci who was full of post-race praise and predictions of grandeur.
“He was eased in his last 50 (metres) yesterday, so he would have broken 45 with a bit of a push-along,” Laing said today.
“Darren Gauci rode him and he just shook his head and said, ‘it’ll win a big sprint race, this.”
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