Messene Chasing 2014 Doncaster Mile Start In Ajax Stakes

March 18th, 2014

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes is hopeful that talented gelding Messene can secure a start in the 2014 Doncaster Mile by winning the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Team Hawkes is confident that Messene can earn a start in the 2014 Doncaster Mile by winning the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.

Team Hawkes is confident that Messene can earn a start in the 2014 Doncaster Mile by winning the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this weekend. Photo by: Steve Hart

The Ajax Stakes offers the winner ballot-exempt entry into the Doncaster Mile and Messene is one of a number of progressive gallopers that need to win the race in order to earn a start in the Group 1 event that will be run at Royal Randwick on April 12.

Messene will be making his debut at Group level after scoring his maiden black type race win in the Listed John McGrath National Sprint (1400m) at Canberra on March 9; with the son of Lonhro battling home strongly after hitting the front a long way from home.

Hawkes told TVN that he was thrilled with the effort of Messene in the National Sprint and has been pleased with his progress heading into the Ajax Stakes this weekend.

“You have to give credit to James (McDonald) as well from a bad barrier; he just angled him across and didn’t panic,” Hawkes said of Messene’s win in the National Sprint.

“He probably got left in front and was a sitting shot for everything and obviously Darley’s horse had the last crack at him, but he was able to stay in that and fight him off.

“He is a quality horse going forward and 1500 metres should suit.

“He should have a lovely run there and obviously, heading towards a Doncaster, if he wins this he is in.

“He has improved, he looks great, but he is just such a relaxed customer that is the best part about him.”

Messene made his racing debut with a second place finish behind British General in a maiden at Ballarat in February on 2012 and has put together an impressive record; scoring eight wins from eleven starts.

The five-year-old has not tasted defeat for over a year and will have the opportunity to score his seventh straight victory in the Ajax Stakes this weekend.

Messene is currently on the fourth line of Doncaster Mile betting markets at a quote of $11, behind talented mare four-time Group 1 winner Appearance ($6.50), Chris Waller-trained Catkins ($10) and Randwick Guineas runner-up El Roca ($11).

You can find the best Doncaster Mile odds for Messene or any other horse at Ladbrokes.com.au!

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