Of the 23 horses lining up in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) field on Tuesday, only one can claim to be 100 per cent Australian bred, owned, reared, and trained.
Fawkner will by flying the Australian flag solo in the 2014 Melbourne Cup alongside a record 11 overseas-trained runners, seven imports, and four New Zealand-bred horses.
The gelding will be the only horse trained by Robert Hickmott in the $6.2 million feature race after British import Sea Moon was scratched from the race earlier this morning.
Fawkner’s owner Nick Williams has called on all Australians to support their own in the Melbourne Cup, and it would seem the punters are listening. The son of unbeaten Reset is a $9.50 shot in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, one of only five single figure hopefuls, though he has drifted out slightly from $8.
The gelding is due to jump from barrier nine with Nick Hall as hoop. Barrier nine has brought home just two Melbourne Cup winners in the race’s history and not since Just A Dash in 1981.
Nick Williams is searching for his first Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, hoping to catch up with his father and co-owner of Fawkner. Llyod Williams is a four-time winner of the ‘race that stops the nation’.
“[Fawkner] is by Reset, which means he’s Australian bred,” Nick Williams told TVN.
“He’s also Australian-owned, Australian-reared and Australian trained and I don’t think there’s another horse in the race we can say that about.
“I hope the country gets behind him.”
The seven-year-old Fawkner is in great form heading into the 2014 Melbourne Cup with one win and two runner-up finishes in his three spring racing starts – all at Group One level.
He was just a neck off Dissident first-up in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) after just running out of petrol before winning the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m). He was nicely positioned behind the lead before getting clear at the 400m and nailing the last furlong.
His last start was in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25. The gelding jumped awkwardly but managed to get back into a nice position. He tracked up and looked the winner at the turn but was just grabbed in the last few strides by Adelaide.
All in all he has had a very successful 2014 spring racing campaign and will be an exciting runner in the Melbourne Cup 2014 field.
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