Polanski strongly rallied from midpack and bounded away to a three-length triumph in the AAMI Victoria Derby (Aus-I) Nov. 2 at Flemington.
With a beautifully timed ride from Hugh Bowman, who urged Polanski to the lead in early stretch. The Ratki colt scored an authoritative win from runner-up Complacent, with Thunder Fantasy checking in 4 1/4 lengths back in third in the 16-horse field.
The colt's win as the second favorite at 11-2 odds marked Bowman's third victory in the past four editions of the 2,500-meter (about 1 9/16-mile) classic, which offered a purse of $1.5 million ($1,414,950 in United States funds). The rider won with Lion Tamer in 2011 Fiveandahalfstar last year.
"Of the three Derby winners this guy is the strongest," Bowman said of Polanski, who covered the distance in 2:38.66 on turf rated as good to earn his first group I triumph. The colt entered off consecutive stakes wins, most recently taking the Jacob Park Thoroughbreds Norman Robinson Stakes (Aus-III) Oct. 19 by a head over San Diego, who finished 12th in the Victoria Derby.
Multiple group winner Savvy Nature finished 14th as the 4-1 favorite,
Trainer Robbie Laing bought Polanski for $4,000 ($4,188) at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Autumn yearling sale from breeder Chatswood Stud.
By European group I winner Ratki, who died from injuries in a stable accident in 2010 at Chatswood Stud, Polanski is out of the winning Citidancer mare Citrium.
The Nov. 2 card also included three other group I events.
The $1 million ($943,300) Longines Mackinnon Stakes was won by Side Glance, who finished third in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) this summer at Arlington Park. Ridden by Jamie Spencer, the 7-year-old Passing Glance gelding won by three-quarters of a length from 2012 VRC Crown Oaks (Aus-I) winner Dear Demi in a breakthrough at the top level.
Veteran rider Jim Cassidy notched his 100th group I win with Zoustar's two-length victory in the $500,000 ($471,650) Coolmore Stakes. The 3-year-old by deceased champion freshman sire Northern Meteor was sold earlier this week to Widden Stud, where he will replace his sire at stud. The deal was reported to be between $10 million to $20 million.
Zoustar is trained by Chris Waller, who enjoyed a group I double on the card when favorite Red Tracer caught pacesetter and stablemate Catkins at the finish line to win the $500,000 Myer Classic by a head.