Robbie Laing has not given up on back-to-back Victoria Derby wins while fellow trainer Mark Kavanagh is hoping to go one better than he did with his two previous runners in the Classic.
Laing won last year’s Victoria Derby with the now-retired Polanski and has Cuban Fighter and The Mighty Jrod, two of the outsiders, in Saturday’s edition of the 2500m feature at Flemington.
Kavanagh has had to settle for second with odds-on favourite Whobegotyou in 2008 and Super Cool two years ago.
He has Magicool as a legitimate chance while stablemate Verreaux is first emergency and needs a scratching to force his way into the field.
The horse they all need to beat is Group One winner Hampton Court who is the dominant favourite to give Gai Waterhouse her second Victoria Derby, almost 20 years after Nothin’ Leica Dane.
“They don’t have the dominant form of Polanski but they can stay,” Laing said of his duo.
“They’re very fit. They have worked extremely well since their last runs and when others are getting tired, they’ll be running on.”
Kavanagh has aimed Magicool at the Derby and rates him one of the best horses in his stable.
The son of Fastnet Rock won the Listed UCI Stakes two starts ago before his unlucky fifth in the Caulfield Classic.
“I’m still a Victoria Derby maiden although my first Group One was in 2004 and that was the SA Derby with Hard To Get,” Kavanagh said.
“Magicool is a promising horse that I set for the Derby a year ago and we’re more than happy with the way he’s going into the race.”
Brent Stanley, meanwhile, is hoping Derby Day is a red-letter day in his career with Royal Standing – a sibling to Super Cool – his first Derby runner in just two years of training.
A Group One-winning jockey before turning to training, Stanley believes Royal Standing can defy his $61 quote and run a big race.
“He’ll surprise most people with how good of a race he’ll run,” Stanley said.
“Obviously Hampton Court has the form on the board and is the one to beat without question. But I’ve got no doubt about my horse running the distance and that will play a major part in this race on Saturday.”