Leading form analyst Daniel O’Sullivan has Fawkner on top of his 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes tips and he is confident that the consistent galloper will prove tough to beat in the Group 1 event at Flemington this afternoon.
The Macedon Lodge team elected to scratch Fawkner from the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) due to a wide barrier draw and the Reset gelding is set to make his first appearance at the races since he finished tenth behind Protectionist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4.
O’Sullivan told RSN that he is very sceptical of the form coming out of the Memsie Stakes and he said that Fawkner has a couple of lengths on the form coming out of that race if he is able to perform at close to his peak.
“Looking at that Memsie as a form guide, I just can’t find anything in that race to get me excited to say that it was a high quality reference to take forward,” O’Sullivan said.
“There was nothing in the times and sectionals on the day and seven or eight horse went across the line within two lengths of the winner and there is nothing there to suggest that it is really a genuine Group 1 weight-for-age race.
“We have horses like Fawkner who is a legitimate Group 1 weight-for-age horse and he is very good fresh.
“He was great in this race last year and he has the figures to win this race quite comfortably.
“The challenge will be from that barrier, but there is a good opportunity to push forward initially and then slot in somewhere.”
Alpine Eagle is the other horse that O’Sullivan believes is a genuine winning chance in the Makybe Diva Stakes and he feels that the High Chaparral entire could develop into the star of the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Australian Guineas placegetter was beaten as an odds-on favourite when he returned to the races in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on August 22, but O’Sullivan is confident that Alpine Eagle will be more suited to the conditions of the Makybe Diva Stakes as well as the bigger Flemington track.
“It still looks like he has a lot to learn as a racehorse and when he puts it together he can really take a big step forward and that can position him as a serious Group 1 weight-for-age horse as well,” O’Sullivan said.
“That first-up run in Adelaide he was totally unsuited, but he finishing strongly as you would expect him to.
“I just like him here racing at Flemington because he still has plenty of time to balance up and really get into his work.
“If he can get towards the number that he produced in the Australian Guineas he will be very hard to hold out.”
Fawkner is currently available at 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes odds of $5 with Ladbrokes, while Alpine Eagle is priced at $6 to claim a maiden victory at Group 1 level.