Leebaz has been included in the 2015 Doncaster Prelude field and the talented gelding needs to win the Group 3 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday to secure a place in the 2015 Doncaster Mile field.
Leebaz currently sits at number 42 in the 2015 Doncaster Mile order of entry that was updated yesterday afternoon and is extremely unlikely to earn a start in the race if he does not win the Doncaster Prelude this weekend.
The Zabeel gelding missed out on a place in the Doncaster Mile last year when he was beaten by Weary in the Doncaster Prelude, but co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he is confident that the five-year-old can go one better in the Doncaster Prelude on Saturday.
“Leebaz was first-up at 1300 in the Canterbury Stakes and it was probably a touch short for him,” Hawkes said.
“His second-up form is outstanding, he has had four starts for three wins and it is not an overly strong race come Saturday.
“To be fair, you have to be winning this type of race to be any chance in a Doncaster.
“He is well down in the list, but he is still headed that way.”
Team Hawkes is all but certain to have at least one runner in the 2015 Doncaster Mile as Ninth Legion currently sits at 29th on the order of entry and will move into the final field when the likes of Dissident, Adelaide, Criterion, Lucia Valentina and Chautauqua are removed from the list of acceptances.
Ninth Legion took out the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on January 24 and was placed in both the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on February 14 and the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14 and Hawkes believes that the Fastnet Rock gelding will be taking career best form into the Doncaster Mile.
“Ninth Legion is probably going the best that he has ever gone this preparation,” Hawkes said.
“He has done everything right albeit he just got bit a bob of the head at his last stride.”
Leebaz is currently available at 2015 Doncaster Prelude odds of $3.40 with Ladbrokes and is a clear favourite from Villiers Stakes winner Rudy ($5), Godolphin galloper San Diego ($6), Chris Waller-trained Bull Point ($7.50) and imported galloper Excess Knowledge ($7.50).