The 2015 Underwood Stakes field has been released and Fawkner is set to contest the Group 1 event that will be held at Caulfield on Saturday.
Fawkner has been one of the most consistent horses in Australia for the past two years and he started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a typically gallant win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
The Reset gelding was set to have his next race start in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10, but the Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams have elected to add the Underwood Stakes to his program as he builds towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Another horse that has had the Underwood Stakes added to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign is Godolphin-owned Contributer.
Contributer returned to the races with a disappointing fifth place finish in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley and the High Chaparral entire will now run in both the Underwood Stakes and the Caulfield Stakes rather than have the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington next Sunday as his sole lead-up to the Cox Plate.
The Cleaner upstaged Contributer in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and the cult hero has been included in the 2015 Underwood Stakes field.
The Mick Burles-trained galloper ran his rivals off their feet in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes and he will have the chance to replicate that effort when he jumps from barrier one in the Underwood Stakes on Saturday.
Mourinho failed to fire in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes, but he will have the chance to return to his best form in the Underwood Stakes, while Dibayani finished third in the same race.
The Makybe Diva Stakes is set to be the other key lead-up race to the Underwood Stakes and Dandino, Weary, Mongolian Khan, Volkstok’n’barrell, Magicool and Hi World are all set to run again this weekend.
All six horses are sure to relish the step-up in trip to 1800 metres as they head towards races like the Cox Plate and the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The 2015 Underwood Stakes field is rounded out by Sertorius, who was scratched from the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) last weekend.
Sertorius returned to racing with a more than credible effort in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and he was set to start the Naturalism Stakes as one of the leading contender, but he was withdrawn from the race due to a poor white blood cell count.
The Underwood Stakes has been won by some of the biggest names in the history of racing and the honour roll includes Phar Lap (1931), Ajax (1938, 1939 and 1940), Tobin Bronze (1966), Bonecrusher (1986), Octagonal (1996), Northerly (2001 and 2002), Weekend Hussler (2008), So You Think (2010), Ocean Park (2012) and It’s A Dundeel (2013).