Ninth Legion has been included in the 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field, but co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has revealed that the talented gelding could remain in Sydney for the 2015 Shannon Stakes.
Ninth Legion returned to the races with a close third behind Winx and Sons Of John in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12 and Hawkes said that he is very happy with the form of the Fastnet Rock gelding, but he told Racing Ahead that it will be left up to the owners whether the six-year-old makes the trip to Melbourne for the 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
“Ninth Legion is in the Shannon on Saturday and he is in Sydney as we speak,” Hawkes said.
“There is a float booked to Melbourne tonight and we won’t decide until about five o’clock tonight when the float pulls up.
“We have to wait until five o’clock tonight to see which way we bounce with Ninth Legion.
“We would like him to come, but we have left it up to the owners.
“He has a great form and there is no doubting his ability, but it just depends on which Ninth Legion turns up.
“The Winx form is pretty fat form in Sydney at the moment.”
Even if Ninth Legion remains in Sydney for the Shannon Stakes, Team Hawkes will still have a runner in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field in the form of Leebaz.
Leebaz took out the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on April 25 in impressive fashion, but he faded badly late in both the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 9 and the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington on September 12.
Hawkes is happy with the condition of Leebaz ahead of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and he is confident that the son of Zabeel will perform better than his current Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes odds suggests.
“Leebaz is great,” Hawkes said.
“He went too hard the other day and he fell in a hole, but his work has been spot-on and that will have taken the sting out of him a bit.
“He will run better than people think on Saturday.”
Ninth Legion is currently available at 2015 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes odds of $21, while Leebaz is out to $41.