GROUP ONE GLORY: Nicholas Hall shows his joy as Fawkner takes out yesterday’s Caulfield Cup ahead of Dandino, left.
GROUP ONE GLORY: Nicholas Hall shows his joy as Fawkner takes out yesterday’s Caulfield Cup ahead of Dandino, left. HAMISH Blairaap

Williams on the money in Cup plan

A PLAN hatched almost 12 months ago came off yesterday when the Lloyd Williams-owned Fawkner won the Caulfield Cup courtesy of a masterful Nick Hall ride.

Fawkner was to have been sold after his second in the Group One Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last Nov-ember but when the buyer failed to produce the cash, Williams was more than happy to keep the gelding.

After watching Fawkner ($11) come with a rush to win in his first start at 2400m, Nick Williams, the son of the leviathan owner, praised his father's foresight in setting the grey for the race.

"It's quite amazing ... we had agreed to sell him but they didn't stump up the money," Williams said.

"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.

"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."

After jumping from gate 10, Hall let Fawkner sit in the sec-ond half of the field before imp-roving his position as they app-roached the home turn and finding a gap as they straightened.

Showing brilliant speed, Fawkner established a gap and downed fast-finishing English raider Dandino ($11) by 1 1/4 lengths, with Dear Demi ($26) a nose away third.

Dandino, who had to jump from a wide gate and made up a huge amount of ground in the final 200m, subsequently firmed to $7 with TattsBet for the Melbourne Cup.

As with the Williams, it was Hall's first win in the Caulfield Cup - one of the few major races trophies to elude his father, a champion jockey who also rode for Lloyd Williams.

The well-backed favourite, Hawkspur ($4.20), finished seventh after getting too far back in the field.


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