Williams Hopeful Fawkner Can Overcome Cox Plate Barrier Draw

Fawkner was the big loser of the 2015 Cox Plate barrier draw and he will start from the outside barrier, but co-owner Lloyd Williams is hopeful that the veteran gelding can overcome the wide gate in the Group 1 event at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Fawkner was only narrowly denied by Adelaide in the 2014 edition of the Cox Plate. Photo by: Sarah Ebbett

Fawkner was only narrowly denied by Adelaide in the 2014 edition of the Cox Plate. Photo by: Sarah Ebbett

Fawkner was the last horse selected by Racing Victoria stewards at the Cox Plate barrier draw yesterday morning and under the unique rules of the barrier draw for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship that meant he was left with the final barrier available.

Williams admits that Fawkner’s task in the Cox Plate would have been made easier if he drew barrier three, but the leading owner told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he believes jockey Damien Oliver can help his star galloper overcome the poor draw,

“We will just have to leave that to the best jockey and fortunately I have Damien Oliver,” Williams said.

“He has been the best for the last 20 years and he should be able to work it out, so there is no use me helping him.

“It would have been easier to drew three, but I am very pleased with him.”

Fawkner started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 and he was only just denied a fourth Group 1 victory by Mourinho in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26, but he was one of the first horses beaten in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10.

Williams said that Fawkner had clearly not enjoyed the firm Caulfield surface and took a couple of days to get over the tough run, but had quickly bounced back and will head into the 2015 Cox Plate in outstanding condition.

“He ran on that hard track and for the first two days after that hard track he had puffed up joints and a sore back, which happens on those hard tracks,” Williams said.

“He has been well cared for up here and I couldn’t be happier with him frankly.

“For an old horse, he feels like a three-year-old.”

Fawkner is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $16 with Ladbrokes and he is on the seventh line of betting behind Highland Reel ($5), Criterion ($6.50), Winx ($7), Kermadec ($7.50), Arod ($8.50) and Preferment ($13).

You can score the best odds for every runner in the Cox Plate with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

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Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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