Fawkner’s first-up win in the Makybe Diva Stakes has signalled he is on target to give prominent owner Lloyd Williams a first Cox Plate win.
Second to Adelaide in last year’s Cox Plate, Fawkner has claimed $8 favouritism for next month’s $3 million feature at Moonee Valley with his win at Flemington on Saturday.
The Chris Waller-trained Winx shares the second line at $10 after storming home to win the Theo Marks Stakes in Sydney.
Godolphin’s Contributer is also at $10 along with Doncaster winner Kermadec who will chase another Group One win over the Randwick mile in Saturday’s George Main Stakes.
Despite being an eight-year-old, Fawkner has been sparingly raced with his 11 wins from 27 starts including Group One success at the past three spring carnivals in the 2013 Caulfield Cup, 2014 Caulfield Stakes and Saturday’s Makybe Diva.
“He’s probably the lightest-raced eight-year-old you’ll ever see but they do a wonderful job with him and he keeps coming up,” jockey Damien Oliver said.
Fawkner will follow the same path to the Cox Plate as last year, with his next start in the Group One Caulfield Stakes before the Cox Plate third-up.
Makybe Diva Stakes runner-up Rising Romance is now on the second line of betting for the Caulfield Cup behind Japanese horse Fame Game.
The mare finished second to another Japanese horse, Admire Rakti, in last year’s Caulfield Cup when trained by Donna Logan in New Zealand.
She was sent to David Hayes and Tom Dabernig earlier this year so she could do all her preparation in Victoria.
This Saturday’s meeting in Melbourne features the Group Three Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield.
The race carries a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner, with Fawkner’s stablemate, The United States expected to be one of those trying to cement a berth.