Robert Hickmott’s imported chestnut Observational was one of two Group 1 bound stayers for owner Lloyd Williams that galloped well at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday’s Memsie Stakes Day.
Stable star Fawkner, scratched from the meeting’s $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) due to a wide gate for the Reset eight-year-old’s first run since last November, and Observational were both put through their paces ahead of their spring returns.
Veteran galloper Fawkner, winner of last year’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before a second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and 10th to Protectionist in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), impressed co-owner Nick Williams with his effort.
The $3.43 million earner is now set to kick off in the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on September 12, a race he ran a close second behind Dissident in 12 months ago.
Observational meanwhile looked on track for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
The Galileo five-year-old debuted down under in March at Bendigo and caught the eye first-up winning the Listed Golden Mile (1600m) over Evangelist.
Spelled after the run he made his first public appearance since on Saturday doing a lap of the Caulfield track alongside Fawkner, his work slow until the final 600m with a smart run home in around 37.36 seconds.
Damian Lane had the ride on the progressive Team Williams’ import Observational, a winner of two of his six career starts to date, and was impressed with how the horse felt.
“He was impressive, he was a bit fresh when we set off but he relaxed down the back and cruised through the line,” Lane told Racenet.
“Very happy with him, he’s a really nice style of horse.”
Currently Observational pays $51 in the futures Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Fawkner meanwhile was ridden by three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop Damien Oliver on Saturday, the jockey full of post-run praise.
“He felt fantastic,” Oliver said.
“He was a little bit above himself early but he settled into his work nicely.
“It wasn’t a stressful kind of workout but his recovery was really good. I sat off the other bloke and we had a bit up our sleeve at the finish.
“He’s in a good place and on target for another good spring preparation I think.”
Williams confirmed that the Melbourne Cup 2015 was not on Fawkner’s spring agenda this preparation, but that he would target the rest of the same races he contested last year.
The $3 million Cox Plate on October 24 is among his major targets, Fawkner at $17 in the latest all-in markets on Australasia’s weight-for-age classic.
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