Polanski comes home at popular winner of the Victoria DerbyPICTURE: Getty Images
is Victoria Derby hero
Report: Australia, Saturday
Flemington: AAMI Victoria Derby (Group 1) 1m41/2f, turf, 3yo
SHEIKH MOHAMMED fired three shots at Australia's oldest Classic but the might of Flat racing's most powerful empire was unable to withstand a colt bought for A$4,000 as Polanski (Robbie Laing/Hugh Bowman) came home a popular winner.
The 9-2 second favourite had beaten Sheikh Mohammed's San Diego into second in his Derby trial at Caulfield and this time he relegated Darley's number-one hope Complacent for a clearcut success.
"It very much is a fairytale," said Laing, who was asked what first attracted him to Polanski. The answer was simple.
"He was cheap," he admitted. "I used to be able to buy horses for A$100,000 or even A$200,000 on spec with three months to pay but the landscape has changed and the sales companies have tightened up. Now I just have to buy horses I can pay for and after I raided the piggy bank I knew I'd be able to pay for this one."
Laing, much of whose recent success has come with jumpers, added: "There's no great surprise with him because he showed great ability as a young horse and every time we raised the bar with him he jumped it.
"I suppose we were a bit optimistic buying a A$4,000 horse to make him into a Group horse but he could go right on and make a good weight-for-age horse."
Complacent's jockey Kerrin McEvoy said: "He didn't step that clean so I had to ride him quiet. I got in to a nice spot on the back of Savvy Nature but interference put him in a terrible spot. He was lucky to stay on his feet so the horse did a fantastic job to run second."