Fawkner Chases Rare Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup Double

Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner this season shoots for a rare spring majors double achieved by just five previous horses in the past 92 years with the Robert Hickmott-trained stayer set for the 2014 Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

Fawkner (outside) backs up from Saturday's Caulfield Stakes in the Cox Plate and then the Melbourne Cup this spring.

Fawkner (outside) backs up from Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes in the Cox Plate and then the Melbourne Cup this spring. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

Owner Lloyd Williams has ambitious plans with the Reset gelding who kicked off his seven-year-old campaign on September 13 when nosed out of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) win at Flemington by the in-form Dissident.

On Saturday Fawkner faces his last start conqueror again, the duo two of the top fancies at Ladbrokes.com.au to win the $400,000 Group 1 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m).

The Caulfield Guineas Day showdown is shaping up as a clash of the Cox Plate fancies with the top three in betting for the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 all in the mix.

Fawkner is one of those sitting top of the futures Cox Plate odds at $5.50 ahead of the Chris Waller-trained Sacred Falls ($6) and Peter Moody’s Memsie Stakes – Makybe Diva Stakes winner Dissident ($8).

In the markets for the Caulfield Stakes then Dissident it the firming $4.20 favourited ahead of last start George Main Stakes winner Sacred Falls ($4.40) and Fawkner ($5.50).

Last Spring Hickmott’s gallant galloper ran third in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) three runs into his campaign before a one and a quarter length win over Dandino in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

A sixth behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente followed in the ‘race that stops a nation’, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November on the cards again this campaign.

The team however has ruled out a title defense in the 2014 Caulfield Cup, Fawkner instead backing up from Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes with his maiden Cox Plate run.

The Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup double is a rare achievement as one is run over 2000m under weight-for-age conditions while the other is a 3200m handicap.

Only five horses have been successful since the Cox Plate was inaugurated 92 years ago, the most recent of which was the mighty Makybe Diva (2005) in the year she won her still-standing record of three Melbourne Cups.

Williams though isn’t deterred hoping Fawkner can join Makybe Diva (2005), Saintly (1996), Rising Fast (1954), Phar Lap (1930 and Nightmarch (1929) who was the first Cox Plate winner to back up and take out the iconic Flemington feature.

“His plan is to win the Cox Plate and then win the Melbourne Cup,” Williams told TVN this week.

“He’s a happy horse.”

To back Fawkner this weekend, and in the futures markets for both the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup visit Ladbrokes – home of the exclusive Ladbrokes Card offer giving you access to your winnings in CASH seconds after payout!

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