Fawkner could make it a handful for Williams
LEVIATHAN owner Lloyd Williams should know a thing or two about what it takes to win the Melbourne Cup - he has four of them on the mantlepiece at his training showpiece in the Macedon Ranges outside Melbourne.
And he thinks he has a great chance to make it five with Fawkner in this year's race.
The grey ran sixth to Fiorente last year, but his main target was the Caulfield Cup, which he duly won. Running in the Melbourne Cup was largely an afterthought.
This time around he has been aimed at the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double, and went within a whisker of taking out the first target when second to Adelaide in the weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley nine days ago.
Interestingly, the last two Melbourne Cup winners - Green Moon and Fiorente - came through the Cox Plate, Green Moon being Williams' fourth winner.
"This year he's been specifically trained for the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup," Williams said.
"It's a different program. Last year I ran him in seven-furlong (1400m) races."
Williams said Fawkner was "in good order" after working at home yesterday.
He also said he expected the seven-year-old, to be ridden by his son-in-law Nicholas Hall, to race much closer to the lead than he did last year.
"You can expect to see him in the first four," Williams said. "He'll race like he did in the Craiglee (Makybe Diva), Caulfield Stakes and Cox Plate."
As far as other chances go, Williams said he had a healthy respect for Saturday's Lexus winner Signoff and Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina.
He said the weight factor was significant for Signoff, who will carry 51.5kg in the Cup with Joao Moreira declaring he would ride the horse 0.5kg overweight.
"I think the mare (Lucia Valentina) will run well because she won the Turnbull and I think that's very good form for the Melbourne Cup," Williams said.
"And, she ran well in the Caulfield Cup. There's nothing you can fault about her."
DON'T miss Tuesday's edition of The Daily Examiner for the latest form guide to help you pick the winner in the Melbourne Cup.