Owner Lloyd Williams has confirmed that Fawkner will not be sent to New South Wales for the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and would likely have only one race start in the autumn.
Fawkner only had four race starts during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and there was speculation that the $4 million on offer in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes would lead to the gelding contesting the Group 1 event, but Williams does not plan on giving the Reset gelding a tough autumn campaign and is instead saving the veteran gelding for the 2015 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and another tilt at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
The Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley is the only autumn event that Fawkner has contested since 2012 and Williams told TVN that the Group 1 sprint is set to be Fawkner’s only race start this autumn.
Fawkner started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a close second behind Dissident in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 and took out the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 11 before he finished a close second behind Adelaide in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
He went into the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 as one of the leading contenders and finished a credible tenth, but did not appear to run out the 3200 metres strongly.
It will not just be Fawkner from the Williams yard that has a quiet autumn campaign; with the leading owner revealing that the majority of his imported gallopers would have very light preparations.
The likes of Lancaster Stakes winner Amralah, lightly-raced The United States, Melbourne Cup scratching Sea Moon and former Aidan O’Brien-trained gelding Foundry all only had light spring campaigns, but Williams does not plan on giving them any meaningful racing in the upcoming months.
“I don’t come out much to play in the autumn,” Williams said.
“I’ve brought them back into work to give them a bit of conditioning.
“I might run them, I might not.
I’m spring bent.
“There is none of our horses planned for any serious Group 1 attacks.”
While Williams generally focuses his efforts on the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, which has resulted in four Melbourne Cup wins, he has had some success in the autumn as an owner; winning the 1994 Australian Derby, 1994 Australian Guineas and 1997 Lightning Stakes with Mahogany and the 2012 Sydney Cup with Mourayan.