Connections of former Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner confirmed plans on Saturday morning to take the veteran galloper first-up into the 2015 Makybe Diva Stakes after a track gallop at Caulfield Racecourse.
Originally the Reset eight-year-old, prepared by Robert Hickmott, was accepted to kick off his Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a run in the season’s opening Group 1.
Fawkner, who hasn’t raced since finishing 10th behind German raider Protectionist in last year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November, was one of a capacity number of gallopers in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) field at Caulfield.
He draw awkwardly wide in the weight-for-age classic however and so Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams opted to scratch him from the race, where the Chris Waller-trained Boban is favourite to win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Instead the 2013 Caulfield Cup and 2014 Caulfield Stakes winner was put through his paces in a pleasing track gallop at the Caulfield track, going under the radar in his 1400m workout alongside stablemate Observational with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Co-owner Nick Williams, son of Lloyd, told Racing Victoria the stable was pleased with the run before confirming plans to tackle the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
“They both looked to have done that pretty easily,” Williams said.
“He’ll do the same as last year, he’ll now kick off in the Makybe Diva at Flemington in a fortnight.
“The club have been kind enough to offer us the track gallop because we scratched the horse and couldn’t be more thankful to them for doing that because it gives him the opportunity to have the raceday experience.”
Last spring Fawkner ran first-up in the same race crossing just a nose away second to the Peter Moody-trained Dissident, and Williams plans on taking him down the same path this prep with the exception of a Melbourne Cup run with Oliver retaining the ride.
“He (Oliver) certainly will be riding him in the Makybe Diva and I’d say that he’ll stick with the horse the whole way through,” Williams said.
Second-up the $3.43 million earner will defend his title in the $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Guineas Day, October 10, before taking on a host of local and international weight-for-age stars at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.
Last year Fawkner was a narrow second beaten only a neck by Adelaide in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), a race he’ll target again on October 24.
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