22 Oct 2014

Fawkner favourite for Cox Plate

11:42 am on 22 October 2014

The early favourite for Saturday's Cox Plate, Fawkner has firmed in the betting after drawing gate number four in the field of 14 for the $3.3 million race.

Fawkner is raced by one of Australia's biggest owners, Lloyd Williams, whose son Nick drew the gate number.

The two New Zealand runners didn't fare so well, Sacred Falls and Silent Achiever drawing barriers nine and eleven respectively.

James McDonald celebrates winning 2012 New Zealand Derby on Silent Achiever.

James McDonald celebrates winning 2012 New Zealand Derby on Silent Achiever. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Williams has yet to win a Cox Plate but Fawkner will be given every chance in the Group 1 feature after son Nick selected gate four at the barrier draw on Tuesday.

Fawkner firmed into $4 favourite following the favourable draw.

Nick Williams says he's got the perfect draw, there are no excuses for the horse and he's in terrific order.

"We're counting down the hours till Saturday and couldn't be more excited."

The Williams team elected not to bring Fawkner to Moonee Valley for a gallop on Tuesday and instead gave him a light run at Williams' Macedon Lodge training facility.

The Chris Waller-trained second favourite Sacred Falls eased in betting after drawing barrier nine, while Waller's Underwood Stakes winner Foreteller drew the inside gate. Waller's third runner Royal Descent drew gate three.

Popular Tasmanian horse The Cleaner drew widest in gate 14 while Irish raider Adelaide also fared poorly drawing gate 13.

Last year's runner-up Happy Trails drew barrier two while Australian Derby winner Criterion fared well in six, as did British horse Side Glance in seven.

A total of 16 horses paid up for the Cox Plate, with the Moonee Valley Racing Club deciding to leave Mourinho and Chivalry out of the field, which is limited to 14 runners.

They did not allow emergencies like they did last year, when the eventual winner Shamus Award gained a start after the scratching of Atlantic Jewel.