Talented Macedon Lodge runner Fawkner has been scratched from the final field for Saturday’s featured Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield after drawing the wide and awkward barrier 18.
A strong and consistent performer for trainer Robert Hickmott since first appearing on course during the 2011 autumn, Fawkner has posted a commendable record of ten wins and eight minors through only 26 competitive appearances.
Part-owner Nick Williams confirmed the horse is in perfect order leading into the 2015 Spring Carnival, but the team saw absolutely no reason he should begin his campaign from the awkward draw at Caulfield on Saturday.
“The club have been kind enough to let him have an exhibition gallop on the course proper so he still gets the benefit of the trip away and the race day experience,” Williams told Racing Victoria.
“The problem we have with that horse is he tries so hard that from barrier 18 he’d end up having a very hard run and that’s not what you really want at the end of August.
“The 1400m at Caulfield is quite a tight and turning track and he’ll be much better suited on the big track at Flemington over the mile where it shouldn’t matter what barrier he draws.
“It’s unfortunate because I thought he’d win but that’s life.”
Having resumed for an agonizingly-close second to Dissident in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) last spring, Williams confirmed the horse will be set on precisely the same path this time, barring an appearance in the Melbourne Cup.
“He’ll run in the same races as last year except he definitely won’t be running in the Melbourne Cup,” Williams added.
A proven spring performer, Fawkner won each of the Listed Sofitel Stakes (1400m), Listed Tavern Stakes (1410m) and Group 3 TAB.com.au Stakes (1400m) on his way to a close second in the 2012 edition of the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Resuming in 2014 for seventh in the Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1400m), the Reset gelding continued to improve in placing fifth in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and third in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before posting a maiden win at the highest level in the featured Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m); returning to the paddock after placing sixth in the Melbourne Cup.
Taking out the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) following his second to Dissident last spring, Fawkner finished a close second to Adelaide in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before running tenth in the Melbourne Cup.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Memsie Stakes odds, for which Boban remains outright favourite for success at a quote of $5.