Melbourne, September 12 – Magnificent Mill Park graduate Fawkner is back for another successful spring campaign at age eight!
Second in the Group I VRC Makybe Diva Stakes last year to Dissident, the veteran Reset gelding made amends for that narrow defeat when resuming from a spell to take the weight-for-age feature at Flemington on Saturday.
Not seen since finishing tenth in the Melbourne Cup last year, Fawkner was turned out in top order by Robert Hickmott for Lloyd and Nick Williams.
The seasoned Group I campaigner produced his A game to hold off Rising Romance and win the 1600 metre contest by a half neck with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
"We were positive and it worked out well. It set up the race for us,” Oliver said.
"That was the plan. We knew there was a little bit of speed outside us and hopefully, we wanted them to cart us over and drag us into a nice spot.
"There was a lot of quality horses there and he was first-up and a lot of those horses had a run or two under their belt.
"We got a good run and it was a steady mid-pace race and it was probably set up for a close finish.
"If there was anyone that was going to be vulnerable, it was him.”
A $70,000 purchase from the Mill Park draft at the 2009 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Fawkner has the consistent record of 11 wins and eight placings from 27 starts with prizemoney topping $3.6 million.
Part-owner Nick Williams confirmed Fawkner will head next to the Group I MRC Caulfield Stakes, which he won last year and then to the Cox Plate in which he finished second last year.
Fawkner was bred by Steve Bennetts and is a half-brother to stakes-winning stayer Tanby (also purchased and raced by Lloyd Williams) and stakes-placed Viking Star, being one of four winners from four foals to race for the good producer Dane Belltar.
A Group III winner by Danewin, Dane Belltar was a top class filly, placing in no fewer than three Group I Oaks events, so her success at stud should come as no surprise.
Dane Belltar has a yearling colt by Street Cry (IRE) and is due to foal this spring to Sebring.