This weekend in Melbourne Caulfield Racecourse will host the new season return of a number of promising spring stayers in the 2013 P.B. Lawrence Stakes but for Ajeeb trainer Mick Price believes this could be the highlight of their campaign.
The Al Maher stallion is one of 10 hopes still entered for the $220,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), final acceptances for which are due out on Wednesday.
While there is one major danger to all the others in Melbourne Cup top fancy Puissance De Lune who resumes here, Price still thinks the Lawrence Stakes could be the right race for Ajeeb to break their Group maiden in.
The four-year-old has had just six starts to date but has proved very consistent posting a quartet of wins including both runs this time in.
After they were tested at Group 1 level back in March when four and a half lengths away seventh to Ferlax in Flemington’s Australian Guineas, Ajeeb was sent for a four month spell.
They came back on July 9 at Geelong and carried a big 60kg to victory on the all weather track over 1300m.
Last start they posted another win this time in the city at Caulfield in a 3YO’s Handicap over 1400m on July 27, Craig Newitt in the saddle for both victories.
Price was then looking at stepping them up to the mile third-up but, after assessing the nominations for the Lawrence Stakes, has decided this could be their best chance of securing some black type.
“I was planning for the mile race with him, but put him in the 1400 just to have a look at the noms and we’re going to have a go at it,” Price told Racing Victoria during this morning’s trackwork.
“Fourteen-hundred metres around here, he’s tough, he’s fit, the race will catch him at his top and he could be a hard horse to run down.”
While Price does hold some concerns of how they will go under weight-for-age conditions carrying 58.5kg equal with Peter Moody’s Adelaide Guineas winner High Esteem, he knows his horse has fitness on their side.
“I don’t know if he’s good enough (to win) at weight-for-age, but he’s hard-fit – he’s strong horse – and he’ll get his chance with S (Stephen) Baster on him,” he said.