Leebaz A Chance For 2014 Cox Plate

July 24th, 2014

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes has revealed that progressive galloper Leebaz is a chance of contesting the 2014 Cox Plate during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.

Leebaz will contest either the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.

Leebaz will contest either the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival. Photo: Steve Hart

Leebaz made his racing debut in April last year and was nursed through the grades slowly by Team Hawkes before being given an opportunity to race at Group level during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

The Zabeel gelding started his campaign with back-to-back wins in the Ezymart Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and the Pro-Ride Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 20 before he made his debut at Group level with a narrow second behind Weary in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5.

Leebaz returned to winning form in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) on May 3 and was far from disgraced when finishing second behind Streama in his Group 1 debut in the Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane on May 17.

Hawkes said that he is yet to decide on the path that Leebaz will follow during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but is hopeful that the rising five-year-old will be able to contest the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 or the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.

“He has done really well,” Hawkes told Racing Ahead yesterday.

“He had that second in the Doomben Cup and he is probably my favourite horse from the point of view of exciting.

“He just keeps on getting better this bloke and he might end up in a Cox Plate or a Caulfield Cup.

“He is back in the stable and looks a treat.

“We are just going to come in and give him probably one less run than one too many and give him maybe four runs.

“Hopefully he can get into a Cox Plate, but probably a Caulfield Cup.”

Leebaz is currently available at $26 in the 2014 Cox Plate betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au; with Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House ($9) still a narrow favourite from Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls ($11), Kiwi mare Silent Achiever ($11), Chris Waller-trained Royal Descent ($13), talented three-year-old Almalad ($15), the consistent Happy Trails ($15) and Team Cummings-trained Norzita.

Sign-up and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au to receive the best odds for the Cox Plate and all the other major races during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival!