Walk in the Park for Fawkner

Fawkner Park (Ire) stamped himself as a genuine weight-for-age talent when trouncing a distinguished field of proven performers to claim the $1.2 million, Group 2, HKJC World Pool Q22 (2200m) which closed the Stradbroke meeting at Eagle Farm.

An impressive winner of both the Albury Cup and Wagga Cup earlier in his campaign, the imported 5-year-old subsequently ran a slashing third in a slowly run Doomben Cup over 2000m at his first start in Brisbane and went to post a well supported favourite for the Q22 as a result.

Despite the contest being run at standard weight-for-age, the progressive stayer stepped right up to the plate, taking complete control of his rivals over the final 200 metres. Fawkner Park (Ire) scored by close on four lengths from rank outsider Knight’s Choice, with Doomben Cup winner Bois D’Argent (GB) claiming third.

Fawkner Park (Ire) proved to be the second leg of a stakes race double on the Eagle Farm racecard for Annabel Neasham who will now look to the feature Melbourne spring Cups with a horse she holds in high regard.

“I love them all [her horses], but I particularly love this horse now,” Neasham admitted. 

“He’s a lightly raced horse and it is great fun to have this horse with Bennett Racing because they’ve given us a fair few horses and it is nice to repay them with a big winner. He’s a very exciting horse and we see the key to him with the right jockey [Tyler Schiller].

“He’s got a big heart, he’s got a good stride, he goes on soft, goes on firm, and I think we should have a big spring to look forward to. We’ve seen a lot of horses campaign well up here and then go on to have big springs. Hopefully he can go up another notch against some of those better horses now.”

Neasham added: “You’d imagine the Caulfield Cup might be a really nice race for him and then we’ll see.”

Fawkner Park (Ire) won by three-and-three-quarter lengths, with a length-and-a-half separating Knight's Choice in second and Bois D’Argent (GB) in third.

Winning time was 2m14.41s (last 600m in 35.23s).

Fawkner Park (Ire) was returned the $4.20 favourite, Knight's Choice at $91.00, and Bois D’Argent (GB) at $15.00.

Fawkner Park (Ire) proves to be a runaway winner of the $1.2 million Q22; picture Racing Queensland/Michael McInally

What winning jockey Tyler Schiller reported:

“He just keeps improving and the confidence that he’s grown from when I first rode him at Albury in the Cup, it isn’t an overly strong race there and I thought he had done a good job to knock another race off in his career - a listed race.

“For him to come up to these levels and keep improving, he arguably should have won a group one last start and to see him do that today he’s an exciting horse going forward.”

On the run: “I was happy where I was. The speed was good enough and I think it was Adelaide River who took off and kept the pace genuine. It was lovely for me from the 700 or 800. We got a lovely flowing gallop and that’s what he loved.

“He loves momentum and when we got to the top of the straight it felt like a ‘how far’ job. He certainly put them to the sword and under very little pressure, I thought, too.

“I wouldn’t be surprised [if he could get 3200m]. He relaxed really well and he has a really good turn-of-foot for a stayer. The good ground was another bonus. He absolutely loves the firm tracks.”