Cahill to Ride Leebaz in 2016 Doomben Cup

May 16th, 2016

Michael Cahill fell from Artlee after crossing the line in Saturday’s Group 1 BTC Cup at Doomben, but the hoop has confirmed that despite a few bumps and bruises, he will still ride Leebaz in Saturday’s 2016 Doomben Cup (2000m).

Michael Cahill will take the ride on Leebaz in Saturday's 2016 Doomben Cup. Photo: Daniel Costello

Michael Cahill will take the ride on Leebaz in Saturday’s 2016 Doomben Cup. Photo: Daniel Costello

Cahill settled Artlee off the early pace in the BTC Cup on Saturday and was forced somewhat wide rounding onto the final straight, but the talented horse mustered a good turn of foot in the late stages of the races to finish a credible seventh.

Having come unstuck from the saddle after hitting the line and suffering a nasty concussion before being taken to hospital, Cahill told The Courier Mail he will still likely take rides at Brisbane’s mid-week meet, and will certainly be fine to partner Leebaz in the Group 1 Doomben Cup this weekend.

“I had a CAT scan on Saturday night and that came up all clear. I’m a bit stiff and sore but I can probably count myself pretty lucky,” Cahill said.

“I will make a final decision (Monday) but I will most probably ride on Wednesday and I will definitely be right for Saturday.”

Leebaz has been a strong and consistent performer for Team Hawkes through his entire racing career since first appearing on course competitively in 2013; posting nine wins and a further six minors through a total of twenty-eight starts.

Producing a number of typically smart performances through last year’s edition of the Spring Carnival, Leebaz trialled well in the lead-up to his 2016 return and placed a credible fifth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 13th.

Progressed to sixth in the Group 3 TAB rewards Stakes (1400m) on March 5th, the Zabeel gelding mustered an impressive late turn of foot to win the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) on March 26th.

While failing to handle the heavy going and the heavy pace in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships, Leebaz will carry winning form into the Doomben Cup after taking out the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast on May 7th.

The 2016 Doomben Cup field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.

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