Main Stage has leapt to the top of Victoria Derby betting after his last-to-first victory at Flemington.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained three-year-old shortened from $10 to $6 following his win in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) on Saturday.
Ridden by Michael Walker, Main Stage ($8.50) scored by a neck from Cliff’s Edge ($5.50) with Johnny Vinko ($21), a stablemate of the winner, 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Polanski in 2013 won the UCI Stakes before going on to win the Group One Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
“We love chasing those Derbies,” Young said.
“I thought it was going to be too hard for him today but I’m super proud of the horse.”
Main Stage is part-owned by a group from the Richmond Football Club, including Brownlow medal winner Dusty Martin.
Young said Main Stage would head to the Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 21 before the Derby two weeks later.
“Today’s only the quarter final, we’ve still got the semi-final and grand final to go yet but this horse keeps improving after every run,” Young said.
The Busuttin and Young team considered bypassing Saturday’s race after Main Stage’s second placing in the Victoria Derby Trial last month.
“The last two times we’ve won Derbies we’ve gone in at the sixth run, so we thought it worked out well they put in the Derby trial and this race,” Young said.
“Things went pear-shaped at the start but Michael didn’t panic and knew the horse he was on.”
Young said Johnny Vinko was also on a path towards the Victoria Derby 2017.