Team Hawkes have included Leebaz, Zephyron, Messene and Ninth Legion in the nominations for the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) that will be held at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Leebaz has not been seen at the races since he finished second behind Streama in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 17 and is a chance of making his return to racing in the Theo Marks Stakes this weekend.
The Zabeel gelding scored his maiden win at Group level in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and Team Hawkes are hopeful that the five-year-old can stamp himself as a genuine contender at weight-for-age level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Zephyron is another Team Hawkes-trained galloper that was sent to Queensland for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and he has also been included in the Theo Marks Stakes nominations.
The son of Zabeel won the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at finished third in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) during his winter preparation and showed that he was ready for a return to racing with an impressive barrier trial victory at Warwick Farm on August 22.
Ninth Legion resumed with a fair performance in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August and he was scratched from the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on September 6 due to concerns about the heavy track.
Messene is expected to be included in the nominations for both the Theo Marks Stakes and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday and he is a chance of dropping back in class after failing to fire in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
The Lonhro gelding resumed with a tough second place finish behind Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9 and he was well-backed in the led-up to the Memsie Stakes, but was never able to get into the race in the final stages.
Chris Waller is the only other trainer that has included two runners in the Theo Marks Stakes nominations, with both Bull Point and Tougher Than Ever a chance of contesting the $200,000 event this weekend.
Kirramosa and Laser Hawk were both scratched from their respective races last weekend, but are a chance of having the second starts of their preparation in the Theo Marks Stakes, while Cluster, Jetset Lad, Manawanui, Paederos and Any Day Will Do are also a chance of running in the Group 2 race.