Fawkner’s 2013 Melbourne Cup form is the best credentials a runner can have going into the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Fawkner incurred a 1.5kgs penalty for winning the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19, a race that is traditionally one of the best Melbourne Cup form guides leading up to the great race on the first Tuesday in November.
Over the history of the Melbourne Cup, horses that raced well in the Caulfield Cup, on the whole, always carried that form over to Flemington and figured prominently in the finish.
Fawkner, one of six runners prominent owner Lloyd Williams has in the Melbourne Cup, started his Spring Carnival campaign in Sydney where he was beaten out of a place at two starts.
The Reset gelding was sent out the favourite in the Group 3 $125,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 7 but could only manage to run seventh to Malavio before finishing fifth to Streama in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 21.
Trainer Robert Hickmott then switched his attention to Melbourne and Fawkner ran a much improved race to be beaten less than half a length when third to Happy Trails in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
Then his win in the Caulfield Cup cemented his place in the ‘race that stops the nation’ next Tuesday at Flemington.
“Every year the Caulfield Cup ends up being the best form for the Melbourne Cup,” part owner Nick Williams said.
“And probably the best form for any of these big races going forward. Year after year it happens and I’ve read with interest everyone saying the form out of the Caulfield Cup in relation to the Melbourne Cup probably won’t be any good this year.”
“I just look at history and history says that the form will be pretty good. That being so I can see the horse is flying. He has taken no harm out of his Caulfield Cup run. He hasn’t run two miles, he hadn’t run 2400m two weeks ago.”
The step up to the 3200m will be another hurdle for Fawkner to overcome, but a large majority of the field are in the same predicament.
“Whether he gets the two miles we will see on Tuesday but I am pretty confident he will and I reckon he will be in the finish,” Williams said.
Fawkner had reasonable luck at the barrier draw coming up with gate eight and Nick Hall will get a chance to repeat his Caulfield Cup wining ride by getting a good position midfield before making his final run in the straight.
The market order has Fawkner marked as an $18 chance to win the Caulfield – Melbourne Cup double while Fiorente heads the betting at $7.50 trying to go one better than last year when second to Green Moon who is at $34 to win back to back Cups.
The Luca Cumani trained stayer Mount Athos is next in the betting at $9 just in front of Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino at $11.