Fawkner wins Caulfield Cup

| October 20, 2013
Nick Hall rides Fawkner to victory in Caulfield Cup

Nick Hall rides Fawkner to victory in Caulfield Cup

The Lloyd Williams-owned Fawkner has produced a dazzling turn of speed to win the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup on Saturday.

After settling 12th in the early stages, Fawkner moved into the race as the field approached the home turn.

Jockey Nick Hall then eased his mount to the outside in the straight and Fawkner overwhelmed the leaders to score a decisive win.

Import Dandino closed hard from the back to finish second with Dear Demi hugging the rail to take the minor placing.

Hall is the son of former top jockey Greg Hall. Hall senior won almost 50 Group 1 races but he never tasted success in the Caulfield Cup.

“I’ve got one up on the old man so it was an important one,” his son said.

Williams’ son Nick said a plan to win the Caulfield Cup was hatched almost 12 months ago when a sale fell through at the 11th hour.

“Dad said ‘I’m glad the bloke did pay up … we’re going to win the Caulfield Cup with this horse’,’’ Nick Williams said.

Fawkner is by Reset, a son of Zabeel raced by the Williams family who retired to stud with an unbeaten record from five starts.

A six-year-old, Fawkner started $11, with Dandino also an $11 chance while Dear Demi was sent out at $26.

Jet Away finished fourth after being asked to make a long run when he was set alight by Damien Oliver in the middle stages.

A fortunate twist of fate almost a year ago has eventuated in Fawkner delivering the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup for leviathan owner Lloyd Williams.

Williams imports many horses to try and capture the Melbourne Cup each year, but it was a homebred runner that gave him his first success in the Caulfield classic.

Fawkner was given a beautiful run in the race by Nicholas Hall, who produced the $11 chance to score from the English-trained Dandino ($11) while Dear Demi ($26) was third.

Williams’s son Nick said Fawkner, who’d never been tried over the 2,400 metres until Saturday, had been set for the Caulfield Cup since last November.

Caulfield Cup 2,400m
T: Robert Hickmott J: Nicholas Hall
T: Marco Botti J: Craig Williams
T: Clarry Conners J: James McDonald
Margins: 1-1/4L x 1/2 hd Time: 2:29.10

He said following Fawkner’s close second in the Emirates Stakes, the stable had accepted an offer to sell the horse but were thankful the deal fell through.

“It’s quite amazing … we had agreed to sell him but they didn’t stump up the money,” Williams said.

“We were worried that he would be handicapped out of the big miles because he had a great spring last year.

“Dad said: ‘I’m glad the bloke didn’t pay, because I’ve been thinking about this and I think we can win a Caulfield Cup with this horse’.

“All credit to him.”

Fawkner was hand-picked to be the stable’s lone runner in the Cup after Lloyd Williams decided against running the likes of Green Moon, Sea Moon and Seville.

“We’re pretty big on setting our horses for their grand finals, and this was this horse’s grand final and he’s done a great job,” Nick Williams said.

“I think it’s the hardest race in Australia to win … just by the nature of the way this race is run there is always hard-luck stories.

“We’ve had a lot of runners in it over the years and it’s just great that we’ve managed to win it.”

Nicholas Hall does what dad could not do

The speed map went out the window when Glencadam Gold missed the start, but stable-mate Julienas took it up at a steady pace in the early stages before easing the tempo mid-race.

This prompted Damien Oliver aboard Jet Away to circle the field and lead 800m from home.

Hall was happy to sit in the second half of the field and bide his time before using Fawkner’s acceleration to squeeze through runners and race clear for a 1-1/4-length win.

While the Cup win fills a gap in the Williams trophy cabinet, the same can be said for trainer Robert Hickmott and jockey Hall, whose father Greg won countless big Cups except the one at Caulfield.

It’s one more win in the trophy cabinet that the Williams team don’t have, and I’ve got one up on the old man.

“It’s one more win in the trophy cabinet that the Williams team don’t have and I’ve got one up on the old man, so it’s an important one,” Nicholas Hall said.

“They prepared him to the absolute second and he produced it today.

“There were doubters on him at the distance but in the back of our minds we were always very optimistic.”

Hall senior cast a proud figure in the mounting yard after the race.

“I texted him last night and I said: ‘I love you buddy, you can do this, and we’ll have the full set’,” he said.

“What it means to me, with the Williams family … Lloyd is like a second father to me and Nick’s my son’s godfather … it’s just special.”

In an emotional twist, Fawkner is the same name of the first horse owned by respected administrator Andrew Ramsden, who died earlier this week.

Nicholas Hall and Glen Boss suspended

The gloss of the Cup win was tarnished to an extent for Hall when he was later suspended for 10 meetings for careless riding in the first race of the day.

Glen Boss, meanwhile, will miss the Cox Plate ride aboard Puissance De Lune after being suspended for 12 meetings for causing interference aboard Silent Achiever in the Cup.

Boss will be on the sidelines from after Sunday until the eve of the Victoria Derby meeting on November 2.

He was charged with careless riding for causing interference to Fawkner and Glencadam Gold in the straight the first time.

Boss becomes yet another high-profile jockey sidelined for the Cox Plate, joining Nash Rawiller and Damien Oliver who were both suspended for incidents on Wednesday.

Rhys McLeod was outed for his Cup ride aboard Ethiopia, which caused interference to Hawkspur soon after the start.


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