Leviathan owner Lloyd Williams will have just one runner in the Caulfield Cup 2013 field this Saturday after confirming yesterday his sole acceptor for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classic would be Fawkner.
Williams and his head trainer Robert Hickmott had as many as six livewire chances for the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) before this morning’s final acceptances.
However Williams confirmed yesterday that they would only be paying up for Reset six-year-old Fawkner, withdrawing all their other contenders including the reigning Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and last Saturday’s Herbert Power Stakes winner Sea Moon.
That means that this year’s Caulfield Cup weights will be raised at least 1.5kg as Green Moon (58kg) and Sea Moon (57kg) were the heaviest weighted hopes before their withdrawal.
The new topweight, if accepted, with the 58kg will then be the Peter Moody-trained Manighar who last ran a disappointing 15th in the Turnbull Stakes.
Montjeu seven-year-old Green Moon was scratched from last weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), won with ease by Atlantic Jewel, due to an elevated temperature.
They are now expected to meet Mark Kavanagh’s star mare in Saturday week’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley before continuing on to defend their title in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 5.
The other Williams-owned horses not accepted for the Caulfield Cup were then the imported Masked Marvel, recent The Metropolitan winner Seville, Sydney Cup champ Mourayan and Tanby who was a dead last in the Herbert Power over the weekend.
Fawkner meanwhile is one of the top fancies for the Caulfield Cup paying around $10 in the markets out before the final field is announced.
Half an hour before they closed there were 21 acceptors.
As the Caulfield Cup field features a capacity 18 starters the race was on to snare the last spot in the starting line-up.
Kavanagh already announced he would not be accepting for his Australian Cup Super Cool, and he held to that today.
Future spring plans for the Fastnet Rock four-year-old now remain up in the air with the chances of them being able to turn the tables on stablemate Atlantic Jewel in the Cox Plate, after being left for dead by her when third in the Caulfield Stakes, looking slim.
Those battling for the 18th spot in the Caulfield Cup field are the UK’s Forgotten Voice and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Julienas.
One will jump with the field in the last on Saturday, the other regulated to first emergency with the news the John Sargent-trained Quintessential had been retired.
The Eagle Farm Cup winning Fast ‘N’ Famous mare was last seen running 12th to Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on October 5.
That has turned out to be her last race however with connections of the $777,165 earner making the decision to retire her to stud.
The call on whether it will be Nicky Henderson’s Glorious Stakes winner Forgotten Voice or Cape Cross seven-year-old Julienas, coming off a second in The Metropolitan over the 2400m at Randwick at the start of the month, is now up to the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) officials.
The official Caulfield Cup 2013 field announcement will be made at 3:00pm (AEST) this afternoon and published right here at Races.com.au.
Caulfield Cup barriers will then be announced tomorrow, so stay tuned.
In the meantime why not gear up for the Caulfield Cup Day betting action by opening your Ladbrokes.com.au account now as they will be offering double the fixed win odds on the Caulfield Cup field as soon as it’s out!