Fawkner will defend his title in the 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes at Caulfield tomorrow and co-owner Nick Williams couldn’t be happier with the veteran gelding ahead of the Group 1 event.
Fawkner started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a tough victory in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 and he was only narrowly denied a fourth win at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26.
Regular jockey Damien Oliver will miss the ride on Fawkner due to suspension, but Williams told Racing Ahead that he is confident replacement hoop Craig Williams will be able to give the eight-year-old every possible chance in the 2015 Caulfield Stakes.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Williams said.
“It is an exciting day tomorrow and he is going there in good order.
“It is unfortunate that Damien got suspended and can’t ride him, but we have a very capable replacement in Craig Williams, who has obviously ridden him before.
“Craig is one of the top jockeys, he will sum up the situation when the barriers open, the horses will get into stride and he will work out where to have him.
“He is going as well as he was last year and if he has luck in running I am sure he will be right there in the finish.”
Fawkner looked as though he was struggling at the 250 metre mark in the Underwood Stakes, but he was eventually able to pick-up late and he was only just denied by Mourinho in the final stages of the race.
Williams does not believe that Fawkner will be at his absolute peak for the Caulfield Stakes, but he is confident that the triple Group 1 winner took plenty of benefit out of his tough Underwood Stakes run as he builds towards the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
“He was absolutely terrific,” Williams said.
“What we all need to remember is that his grand final is the Cox Plate in two weeks and it was four weeks away when he ran then.
“He hasn’t been absolutely screwed down and he has been trained to be at his absolute peak on Cox Plate Day as I am sure a lot of these horses are.
“That pace set by The Cleaner probably got him a little bit out of his comfort zone, but he hit the line strongly and we couldn’t be happier.”
Fawkner is currently available at 2015 Caulfield Stakes odds of $4.20 with Ladbrokes and he is on the second line of betting behind Kermadec ($3).
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