Returning to racing in typically impressive form through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, Fawkner is yet to finish worse than second in three starts at the highest level of Australian racing this time in and has drawn the central barrier 9 for Tuesday’s Race That Stops a National, but has surprisingly drifted to Melbourne Cup odds of $8.50.
Securing a commendable race record of ten wins and eight minor places from his 25 competitive appearances on course so far, Fawkner finished an agonizingly-close second to Dissident in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first-up on September 13th before charging home to take out the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Running on to finish a close second to Adelaide in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) last time out on October 25th, owner Nick Williams has been understandably thrilled with the Reset gelding’s lead-up to the 2014 Melbourne Cup and is confident the central draw will allow regular jockey Nick Hall to settle in prime position early.
“Couldn’t be happier. I’m of the view that barriers aren’t that important in this race; I think if you look at the historical data it shows that,” Williams said following Saturday evening’s barrier draw.
“But he’s drawn well, they’ve got a huge run into the first turn, I think all the jockeys get their chance to get the position they want to get.
“I think being drawn there towards the middle gives Nick every chance to get the horse where he wants to get him, put him to sleep and give him a great run in transit.
“He’s certainly coming into the race this year with better form then he had last year even though he won the Caulfield Cup.
“We’re very hopeful going towards the race and most importantly he’s by Reset, he’s Australian-bred, Australian-reared, Australian-owned and Australian-trained and I don’t think there’s another horse in the race that we can say that about so I hope that the country gets behind him.”
A standout performer for the Macedon Lodge stables through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Fawkner finished fifth in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and third in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before displaying an exceptional turn of foot to take out the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m); progressing to a credible sixth in the Melbourne Cup.
Having his Melbourne Cup odds shortened drastically following his Caulfield Stakes triumph and Cox Plate second, Fawkner remains at odds of $8.50 for success at Ladbrokes Australia having drifted from a quote of $8.