A talented field of just 13 runners have been nominated for an appearance in this weekend’s Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens, highlighted by several previous winners at the highest level of Australian racing.
Having returned to racing this spring after nearly 18 months on the sidelines, trainer Joe Pride has nominated Laser Hawk for the 2014 Theo Marks Stakes.
Contesting a commendable record of four wins and three minor places from just ten competitive starts so far, Laser Hawk stamped his claims as one to watch from his maiden racing preparation through the spring of 2011; winning both debut starts and returning in the autumn of 2012 for third in both the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and an impressive victory in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
Forced into the paddock following a severe tendon injury during the 2013 autumn, Pride is confident the Artie Schiller gelding will be far better for a first-up run in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) on August 9th and is expecting a polished performance.
Also included in nominations for the 2014 Theo Marks Stakes is 2013 Spring Racing Carnival standout Kirramosa.
Beginning her career with two starts in New Zealand during the 2013 autumn, Kirramosa quickly built to the task in her maiden Australian preparation last spring; finishing fourth in the Listed Reginald Allen (1400m) on September 28th and continuing to build in form and class on her way to back-to-back victories in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 7th.
Electing to bypass the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Kirramosa also resumed in the Group 2 Missile Stakes, and appears to have returned to racing in great form this year having finished a credible sixth amongst classy competition.
Team Hawkes are poised to dominate the final field for the 2014 Theo Marks Stakes having nominated four of their stable’s stars, highlighted by Leebaz and Messene.
A standout performer for the in-form stables over the 2014 Autumn and Winter Carnival, Leebaz failed to finish outside the places in five competitive starts, winning two minors events first-up before placing second in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m), winning the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and finishing a close second to champion mare Streama in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) last time out on May 17th.
Also performing to a high standard for the Hawkes’ over autumn, Messene won each of his first two starts including the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) before placing a fighting seventh in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 12th.
Finishing second in the Missile Stakes first-up the Lonhro gelding was unable to handle the late pace when beating just two runners home in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) last time out, but should respond well to the step back in class.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Theo Marks Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Theo Marks Stakes Nominations
|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|