Fawkner was the big winner of the 2014 Cox Plate barrier draw and he will jump from barrier four in the Group 1 event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Fawkner was the second horse drawn and co-owner Nick Williams wasted no time selecting barrier four for the talented gelding who stamped himself as clear favourite for the Cox Plate after he took out the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 11.
There is still plenty of discussion surround the decision by the Moonee Valley Racing Club Committee to allow promising three-year-old Wandjina in the Cox Plate field, but the Snitzel colt is set to receive a lovely run into the race from barrier three.
Wandjina has not recorded a win since he took out the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm and has been inconsistent during his three-year-old preparation, but he stormed home late to finish third in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11.
Another leading contender that fared well at the Cox Plate barrier draw is Australian Derby winner Criterion and he will jump barrier six, but is unlikely to have regular jockey Hugh Bowman on his back.
Bowman was charged with improper riding for his ride on Light Up Manhattan in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) and he will appeal the decision, but is unlikely to see his charge downgraded enough to ride on Cox Plate day and James McDonald is on standby to partner the Sebring entire.
Other horses that have drawn inside Cox Plate barriers include Andrew Balding-trained Side Glance (barrier seven), last year’s runner-up Happy Trails (barrier two), Underwood Stakes winner Foreteller (barrier one) and consistent mare Royal Descent (3).
One of the most interesting runners in the 2014 Cox Plate field is The Cleaner and the popular Tasmanian galloper is set to make sure that the race is run at a very hot tempo after he drew at the extreme outside.
The Cleaner led from start to finish to take out the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at the same venue on September 26 and trainer Mick Burles has no plans to change the riding pattern of the Savoire Vivre gelding.
One horse that will need a bit of luck in the Cox Plate after drawing awkwardly in barrier 13 is Aiden O’Brien-trained Adelaide, who will be making his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 event.
Adelaide did not have a great deal of luck when he was caught wide early in the Group 2 Qatar Prix Niel (2400m) at Longchamp on September 14 and British jockey Ryan Moore has been charged with the difficult task of settling the enigmatic entire in the early stages of the Cox Plate.
George Main Stakes winner Sacred Falls (barrier nine), Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned Guest Of Honour (barrier ten), talented kiwi mare Silent Achiever (barrier 11) and Godolphin colt Sweynesse (barrier 12) also drew outside gates in the 2014 Cox Plate barrier draw.
Fawkner is available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $4 and is a clear favourite from Sacred Falls ($6), Adelaide ($6.50), Criterion ($8) and Happy Trails ($9).
|1||x4412x4414||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||9||59kg|
|2||75316x7x21||FAWKNER||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||4||59kg|
|3||15×7459333||SIDE GLANCE (GB)||Andrew Balding||Jamie Spencer||7||59kg|
|4||7412×58205||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||2||59kg|
|5||45389×4318||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||1||59kg|
|6||251×212111||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Steven Arnold||14||59kg|
|7||397x4x11x9||GUEST OF HONOUR (IRE)||Marco Botti||Craig Williams||10||59kg|
|8||42811×3722||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||6||57.5kg|
|9||x11114x459||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Nash Rawiller||11||57kg|
|10||x4525x2222||ROYAL DESCENT||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||3||57kg|
|11||1×212213||ADELAIDE (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||13||56kg|
|12||1x11x9418||ALMALAD||Gai Waterhouse||Craig Newitt||8||49.5kg|
|13||1×1113||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||12||49.5kg|