Criterion Third in 2014 Hong Kong Cup

December 15th, 2014

Talented Australian Criterion has closed his impressive run through the 2014 racing calendar in style over the weekend, maintaining a strong-enough run to finish third in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin Racecourse.

Sole Australian entrant Criterion ran a gallant third in the 2014 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Sole Australian entrant Criterion ran a gallant third in the 2014 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Jumping from the gates well, jockey Hugh Bowman settled Criterion in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders; receiving an ideal run away from the barriers and down the back straight.

Pressed forward rounding the final bend, Criterion was offered a clear racing line upon reaching the final straight; charging forward to pull two lengths clear of his closest rivals.

Maintaining his position at the fore of the field down in the early stages of the long Sha Tin straight, the Sebring entire was caught by leading locals Designs On Rome and Military Attack with 200m to run; crossing the line a length off the pace but comfortably beating leading French raider Cirrus Des Aigles.

Bowman delivered a typically polished ride on Criterion in the 2014 Hong Kong Cup and is confident the four-year-old would have found the line in the clear if not forced to take out the speed too far from the post.

“He ran a super race,” Bowman said.

“He raced much closer to the speed which wasn’t really by design but he began well, travelled well, gave a kick and was just run down by two good ones.”

Leading Hong Kong-based jockey Joao Moreira partnered classy stayer Designs On Rome to an impressive victory in the 2014 Hong Kong Cup, and revealed it was not all smooth sailing on the road to the triumph.

“This is really a dream come true for me,” Moreira said.

“It takes a while for the penny to drop with him, but when it does he’s very good.”

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