Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams’ Spring Carnival isn’t finish with in-form Fawkner lining up in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington tomorrow.
With the scratching of Guy Walter’s Group 1 winning mare Streama, Fawkner has been installed the $4.60 favourite to make it five wins in a row and take out his first Group 1 race.
Williams won his fourth Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday when Green Moon saluted with Brett Prebble and is hoping to wrap up the Melbourne Cup Carnival with another Group 1 win.
Regular rider Nicholas Hall is anticipating a bold showing from Fawkner at his first attempt at the elite level and is certain the five year old is at his peak going into Saturday’s race.
“He’s had the perfect preparation for the Emirates,” Hall said.
“He has been kept fresh four weeks apart at 1400m then had that 1400m run leading into the mile a week apart so he can have that fitness under his belt.”
“I think he deserves his chance but I don’t think it is a given that he will win a Group 1.”
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Robert Hickmott has placed Fawkner perfectly this Spring with three undefeated runs all at Flemington, the latest beating Free Wheeling in the Group 3 $250,000 TAB.com.au Stakes (1400m) on November 3.
But Hickmott is backing the Reset gelding up week to week going against his winning formula this Spring of spacing his runs four weeks apart.
Hall, who has ridden Fawkner six times for five wins, says the lightly raced five year old is still on the improve and Saturday’s test will determine if he is s Group 1 performer.
“He’s a progressive horse and has kept getting better with time,” Hall said.
“He still has some improvement left as a horse and we will find out more about what standard he is up to in this race.”
Racing’s first lady Gai Waterhouse will be trying to break her Melbourne Spring Carnival drought when she saddles up Fat Al in the Emirates Stakes.
After taking all before her during the Sydney Spring Carnival, Waterhouse arrived in Melbourne with the favourites in the Caulfield Guineas, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup.
While she picked up placings with Pierro in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley, Glencadam Gold failed in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), she is yet to collect a Group 1 win in Melbourne this Spring.
And while Glencadam Gold ran a more respectable race to finish sixth behind Green Moon on Tuesday, Waterhouse’s latest import Fiorente ran a mighty race to run second, making it three runner-up cheques for the Melbourne Cup.
Fawkner heads the Emirates Stakes market at $4.60 in front of Queenslander Solshenitsyn at $6 with Fat Al at ($7), Ambidexter at $8, Free Wheeling at $9 and He’s Remarkable at $9.50.