The Lloyd Williams owned Fawkner has a great chance to claim a home grown victory in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Fawkner was born and bred in Williams’ back yard and on Tuesday will be taking on all comers from right across the globe, including the best performed stayers from England, Ireland, Germany, France and Japan.
As well as a host of European imports that are scattered among the best trainers in the land.
Williams is excited about the prospects that his home grown Fawkner is regarded at one of the top chances in ‘The Race That Stops The Nation’ and will go to Flemington full of confidence that he can win the race for the fifth after success with Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and Green Moon (2012).
On the morning that Williams had to scratch one his other Melbourne Cup candidates, Sea Moon, the prominent owner was more than pleased with the progress of Fawkner heading into Tuesday’s ‘two miler’.
“I couldn’t be happier with the horse this morning. I’m sad with Sea Moon, but I’ve worked Fawkner here this morning,” Williams told RSN radio.
“That’s the beauty of this horse for us, because we have had this horse here since he was a baby.”
“It’s great to grow a horse. I love these horses. We have grown him from a certain stage of horse. We were running him in 1400m races two years ago and we’ve grown him into a Caulfield Cup horse, we’ve grown him into nearly a Cox Plate horse and now into the Melbourne Cup.”
“It’s a great feeling about the horse. I think that I couldn’t be happier about the preparation that he has had. “
“His run in the Makybe Diva was first class first up, gave him a four week’s break to the Caulfield Stakes. He was pretty impressive in the Caulfield Stakes after a four week break and ran him in the Cox Plate.”
Williams went on to note that in the last ten years, four Melbourne Cup winners have raced in the Cox Plate including his own Efficient and Green Moon and last year’s winner, the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente.
“In the last ten years four runners from the Cox Plate have gone on and won the Melbourne Cup so it is quite a good guide. His run was pretty good the other day,” Williams said.
“Efficient came through the Cox Plate and Makybe Diva came through the Cox Plate. It’s not a bad guide, forty percent in the last ten years.”
“He’s got good weight for age form, he is coming into a handicap race with good weight for age form.”
Fawkner grabbed the limelight during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival when he won the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield before running sixth to Fiorente in the Melbourne Cup.
This Spring his form has been top class with a first up second in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 before winning the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 11.
The Reset grey then went down narrowly to the super Irish galloper Adelaide when second in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last week.
Regular rider Nick Hall will once again be aboard Fawkner who will jump from barrier nine in the twenty-three horse field.
Even though Fawkner has drifted slightly in the market order for the Melbourne Cup he has still attracted plenty of interest with one bet of $10,000 at $9.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
“Along with Fawkner, there has also been plenty of money for a number of others at the top of the market including a bet of $10,000 at $7.50 for Lucia Valentina and a bet of $5,000 at $8 for Signoff,” said Jason Scott, head of Bookmaker Operations at Ladbrokes Australia.
Japanese stayer Admire Rakti has maintained his spot at the top of the betting at $5.50 since his win in the Caulfield Cup.
Caulfield Cup third placegetter Lucia Valentina, German stayer Protectionist and last Saturday’s Lexus Stakes winner Signoff all share the next line of betting at $7.50 ahead of Fawkner at $9.50 and Irish stayer Mutual Regard at $11.