AFTER several placings and numerous close calls Lloyd Williams' bid for a first Cox Plate strengthened after Fawknerdrew favourably in Saturday's $3 million Group 1 feature, reports Racing Network.
Williams' son Nick selected barrier four in the Cox Plate, a draw his father described as "perfect".
Sportingbet tightened Fawkner from $4.25 to $4 favourite while he remained a $4.20 chance with TAB.
Williams' history in the Cox Plate dates back to Plush, which finished fourth in the 1970s, Drought, which also finished fourth,Mahogany second in 1995 behind Octagonal and Zipping, which finished second twice - 2008 and 2010 and third in 2009.
Williams said that while he didn't ask Fawkner to do much at his Mt Macedon property today the horse worked "very nicely".
"We are happy chaps up here. It is a very nice horse environment up here," Williams said.
Sacred Falls eased from $5 to $6.50 with Sportingbet after drawing gate nine while Happy Trails is steady at $10 after he got with barrier two.
Irish horse Adelaide fared poorly in the barrier selection with gate 13 the only barrier left when Coolmore's Tom Magnier was called to the barrier podium.
From his second outside gate Sportingbet eased Adelaide's price from $5 to $5.50 while TAB pushed him out from $5 to $6.50.
Cult horse The Cleaner drifted from $12 to $15 after he will start from the outside barrier in the field of 14.
The three Chris Waller horses - ForetellerRoyal Descent and Sacred Falls - drew one, three and nine respectively.
Happy Trails, narrowly beaten in last year's Cox Plate by Shamus Award, will start from gate two, a draw that pleased trainer Paul Beshara, who said the horse has never been better.