2015 Hong Kong Cup Perfect for Criterion

November 24th, 2015

Leading jockey Craig Williams partnered Criterion to third in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin following the Sydney Autumn Carnival this year, and is confident the horse returns a serious chance of success in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) in December.

Craig Williams is bullish of Criterion's chances in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Craig Williams is bullish of Criterion’s chances in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

Criterion has been a star of Australian racing over the last 18 months; posting an impressive seven wins and thirteen minors through only 32 competitive starts highlighted by four triumphs at the highest level of Australian racing.

Having run third in the 2014 edition of the Hong Kong Cup, Williams told RSN he believes both the form of the Sebring entire and his clear affiliation with the Sha Tin racing surface points towards exceptional competitiveness upon his December return.

David (Hayes, trainer) is very happy with his preparation and the way that he’s going,” Williams said.

“When you look at the field this year, it’s not as strong as the Cup has been in other years.

“But most importantly we’ve seen Criterion compete in Hong Kong and he likes getting over there. He’s had a rock-solid preparation this past 18 months and I’m looking forward to representing Australia.”

Stamping his claims as one to watch from his first competitive preparation, Criterion was unlucky not to break through for a maiden win at the highest level through the 2013 edition of the Spring Carnival, in which he finished second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) most notably.

Returning in the 2014 autumn in blistering form, Criterion ran second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) before securing consecutive wins in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

Undoubtedly finding career-best form to date this year however, the stallion out of Mica’s Pride ran third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up; progressing to second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before mustering a huge turn of foot to win the major Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) by close to three lengths on Day 2 of The Championships.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early 2015 Hong Kong Cup odds, for which Criterion can be taken at a generous quote of $4.20 for success.