Williams Thrilled with Criterion Ahead of 2015 Hong Kong Cup

December 7th, 2015

Craig Williams has been confirmed to ride leading Australian 2000m horse Criterion in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse on Saturday and could not be more pleased with the condition of the talented entire ahead of the feature race.

Four-time Group 1 champion Criterion is primed for a big performance in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Four-time Group 1 champion Criterion is primed for a big performance in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Criterion has undoubtedly returned to racing in career-best form this year, and success in the 2015 Hong Kong Cup would cap a nine-race campaign which has already heralded wins in each of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) most notably.

Williams partnered the classy son of Sebring in a strong piece of work at Moonee Valley prior to the horse leaving for Hong Kong a fortnight ago and is relishing the thought of climbing back aboard for the 2015 Hong Kong Cup.

“I loved the way he worked,” Williams told the media.

“I can’t wait to be partnering him representing Australia and New Zealand.

“He’s in great order, he’s been well prepared for this racing coming back from two miles to ten furlongs … lovely and relaxed in his work, when I asked him, his response was really sharp.

“He looks unbelievable. I was lucky enough to partner him earlier in the year, now he’s matured he’s strong, he’s made the team a lot strong.

“His travelling has really brought him on mentally, you couldn’t fault him.”

Criterion has posted an impressive seven wins and thirteen minors through his 32 start career since first appearing on course competitively in the late stages of 2012.

Undoubtedly rising to complete prominence the first time as a three-year-old during the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Criterion finished second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) before taking out each of the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) most notably.

Returning this year for third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), Criterion continued to impress in running second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in his only other start prior to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, before a trip abroad heralded a number of pleasing results including fifth in the Group 1 Princes Of Wales’s Stakes (2012m) during the Royal Ascot Carnival.

Returning to Australian racing in spring for success in the Caulfield Stakes, the entire out of Mica’s Pride placed second in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before running on for third in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) last time out on November 3rd.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Hong Kong Cup odds, for which Criterion can be taken at a quote of $5 for success.