Team Hawkes have nominated four from their stables in the Theo Marks Stakes 2014, early entries for Saturday’s Golden Rose Day support act extended until 11am on Tuesday morning.
The handicap clash has attracted 13 hopefuls at first nomination stage, four of which are prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes including the returning Leebaz.
Zabeel gelding Leebaz won the Hawkesbury Cup over the mile in May before a second to Streama in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
If accepted Saturday will be his first run since, the five-year-old kicking off a possible $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) campaign.
The Epsom runs at Randwick Racecourse on October 4 and Leebaz is rated a $13 chance through Ladbrokes.com.au to win.
He is also nominated for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley three weeks later in Melbourne but is a $41 outsider for Australasia’s weight-for-age classic.
Early $9 Epsom Handicap favourite Messene meanwhile is also one of the Hawkes-trained Theo Marks Stakes nominations.
The Lonhro six-year-old, winner of the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last March, resumed with a second to Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 9.
His latest effort meanwhile was a disappointing ninth behind Dissident in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) where he just didn’t have the zip to match Peter Moody’s dominant winner after following him all the way before being outrun.
The two other hopefuls for the Hawkes’ are then Group 2 Villiers Stakes winner from last December Ninth Legion and Zabeel six-year-old Zephyron first-up after a top winter in Brisbane that concluded with a third to Floria in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on June 7.
The top-rated of the Theo Marks Stakes nominees meanwhile is the now Joe Pride-trained 2012 ATC Derby third placegetter Laser Hawk, the Artie Schiller gelding out to improve on a Missile Stakes eighth.
Coming off good form this season meanwhile are a host of other chances including the Chris Waller-trained stable mates Bull Point and Tougher Than Ever.
Another former Gai Waterhouse-trained horse like Laser Hawk, Fastnet Rock four-year-old Bull Point kicked off his spring with a good third to Terravista in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) on August 23.
Tougher Than Ever meanwhile has had two runs finishing second in both, a Rowley Mile run followed by a 1500m Benchmark 95 at Rosehill on August 30.
Other notable hopes then include Brian Smith’s consistent seven-year-old Jetset Lad after his third win on the trot and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained stallion Cluster back up in class here not having raced in Group company since a 10th to Long John in last year’s Caulfield Guineas.
See below for the current Theo Marks Stakes 2014 nominations, the field due for release on Wednesday.
Then to make sure you’re ready to lock in the spring’s hottest racing odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open your account with the country’s leading online bookie!
2014 Theo Marks Stakes Nominations
Rosehill Racecourse – 13/09/2014
|1||ANY DAY WILL DO||David Vandyke||86|
|2||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||95|
|3||CLUSTER||Peter & Paul Snowden||83|
|4||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||95|
|5||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||102|
|6||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||109|
|7||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||103|
|9||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||107|
|10||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||100|
|11||PAEDEROS (FR)||David Payne||82|
|12||TOUGHER THAN EVER (NZ)||Chris Waller||93|
|13||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||99|