Polanski wins Victoria Derby
Watch highlights from Derby Day's major races including Robbie Laing-trained Polanski's emphatic, three-length victory in the Victoria Derby.PT1M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2wt8o 620 349 November 2, 2013
It's a rare occurrence for a horse to win a group race in consecutive years at the Melbourne Cup carnival, but the Anthony Cummings-trained Fontelina managed the feat with a hard-fought victory in the group 2 Yellowglen Stakes on Saturday.
In fact, the last dual winner of the Yellowglen was the tough sprinter Redelva in 1987-1988.
Last year Fontelina won the race first-up but this time around he was coming off a close second in the group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m.
Two years running: Fontelina, ridden by Peter Robi, wins race eight on Derby Day at Flemington. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Despite the drop back in distance Cummings was confident that the gelding could win again.
''I was really pleased with the way the horse had prepared and we thought he had improved on last year, and he had to, because there was a lot more depth to the race and he had to carry more weight,'' Cummings said, with Fontelina having to shoulder an extra 3.5 kilograms on top of the 54kg he carried last year.
Cummings said he had considered going to the group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley last week with Fontelina and was pleased with his choice.
Derby Day Racing at Flemington
Derby Day Flemington , Race 1 won by Paximadia ridden by Kerrin McEvoy Photo: Pat Scala
''He's been better all this preparation and his run in the Rupert Clarke was excellent,'' he said. ''We had the choice about coming here or heading to the Manikato Stakes but we elected to bypass that race for this and it's turned out to be a good choice.''
Fontelina ($12) began well and jockey Peter Robl was able to position him just in behind the strong speed set by fellow Sydneysider Steps In Time.
He was able to get him into the clear inside the 400 metres to make his move and after taking a little while to wind up, he grabbed the tiring Steps In Time inside the 100m to win comfortably.
Spirit Of Boom ($11) charged home late to be 1¼ lengths away in second, with Rarefied ($26), also closing strongly over the final stages to be a nose away in third. Robl said he could not have hoped for the race to turn out better for him. ''We knew Steps In Time was going to run along and everything just turned out perfectly, we got a run when we needed and he found something when I needed him to find,'' Robl said.