Co-owner Nick Williams has revealed that the 2014 Cox Plate will be the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for talented gelding Fawkner.
Fawkner stamped himself as one of the best stayers in Australia when he won the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and finished a courageous sixth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but Williams told Racing Ahead this morning that the stable are eyeing a weight-for-age path with the son of Reset this preparation.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) is one of the only major races on the Australian racing calendar that has not been won by Team Williams and Nick Williams believes that Fawkner may be the horse to deliver the stable their maiden victory in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
“We would like to think that he could step-up to being a weight-for-age galloper,” Williams said.
“That is the logical thing to do after the spring that he had last year and we will certainly be giving him the opportunity to do that.
“If he is showing us all the signs then his logical aim is the Cox Plate.
“If he is showing us he is a handicapper and is better suited in the handicaps then we will recess and we will have to go down a Cups path with him again.
“There is a Cox Plate missing from our mantelpiece and we are pretty keen to get one.”
Fawkner was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Memsie Stakes, but he was not included in the 2014 Memsie Stakes field that was released this morning.
Williams said that Fawkner needed another week or two before he was ready to start his spring campaign at the highest level of racing and he confirmed that the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 or the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 23 were the most likely kick-off points for the Caulfield Cup winner.
“We gave a lot of our horses a serious gallop yesterday morning and Fawkner needs another week,” Williams said.
“He is just not quite ready.
“I think it will probably be at Moonee Valley or Flemington the following week.
“He is going very well and he is in great form, but he is just not quite ready for what is going to be a very, very keenly fought Group 1 race and you don’t want to have a horse going there that is not fit enough and bottom him first-up.”
Fawkner is currently available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $19 with Ladbrokes Australia and is available at a quote of $26 in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets.