Criterion Ready for 2014 Hong Kong Cup Test

November 27th, 2014

A standout performer over the 2014 Australian racing calendar, trainer David Hayes is thrilled with the condition of talented runner Criterion but concedes he will need to find an extra gear if to take out the major Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin Racecourse on December 14th.

Criterion has worked well in the lead-up to the 2014 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Criterion has worked well in the lead-up to the 2014 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Securing a commendable race record of five wins and a further seven minor places from his 22 competitive appearances at the races so far, Criterion recorded several impressive results over the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival; overcoming a disappointing run for seventh in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) with close second place finishes in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).

Having progressed to a credible seventh in the featured Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and luckless fifth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), The Hong Kong Cup will figure as Criterion’s first appearance since joining the stables of Hayes and co-trainer Tom Dabernig having started his impressive career under the guidance of David Payne.

Completing a strong piece of work earlier this week, Hayes told TVN Criterion will complete a final track gallop at Rosehill next week before travelling to Hong Kong for his first international racing tilt.

“He worked really well, I was very happy with his work,” Hayes said.

“He did it in good style. The way he works just tells you he’s a good horse.”

Stamping his claims as one to watch over an impressive 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, Criterion overcame a disappointing eleventh in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) with back-to-back second place finishes in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) and Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m); returning to the paddock after placing a credible fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).

Running fourth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) first-up this year before placing an agonizingly close second to Cox Plate champion Shamus Award in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), the Sebring entire appeared out of sorts when only managing eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, but responded in the best way possible when taking out both the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

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