An early study of the P B Lawrence Stakes nominations was enough to convince trainer Mick Price to roll the dice and give Ajeeb his chance in the Group Two feature.
Price has won the weight-for-age race twice before with Pompeii Ruler and Light Fantastic when it was known as the Liston Stakes.
This Saturday at Caulfield he feels Ajeeb, an on-pace runner, could find himself in the right race at the right time.
Ajeeb has won his two starts this campaign, the most recent of those coming in a late-season sprint against his own age last month over the same course and distance as the P B Lawrence (1400m).
“He was in the mile handicap (on Saturday) but we had a look at the nominations on Monday and decided to work him for the 1400 metre race,” Price said.
“He’s suited at the course and distance, he’s tough, he’s fit and he goes into the race at his top.
“I’m not kidding myself that he’s a genuine weight-for-age horse but just with regard to this race, I thought we would give him his chance.”
After considering the likely speed in the race, Price is hoping Ajeeb will put himself on the pace and give his rivals something to chase.
“I just think with the course and distance and the race that it is, there are a lot of horses that will sit off and may not be 100 per cent fit yet.
“So hopefully we can catch them with their pants down.”
The Lawrence Stakes field is headlined by the resuming Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune who is the $2.40 favourite with last year’s winner Second Effort at $5 as he strives to become just the third dual winner.
Ajeeb is at $8 with Stephen Baster to ride.
The son of Al Maher’s only previous start in stakes company was in the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) in March when he started favourite but could only manage seventh.
Price also has some of his spring carnival hopefuls kicking off their campaigns at the meeting with imports Bit Of Hell and Pakal lining up in the Legacy 2013 Badge Appeal Handicap (1600m) and Toorak Handicap-bound Dany The Fox returning in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m).