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Polanski has been included in the 2014 CS Hayes Stakes nominations after missing the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday with a skin infection.
Polanski was well-backed in the lead-up to the Autumn Stakes, but was found to be suffering from a nasty bout of hives on Saturday morning and was scratched from the Group 2 event.
The disruption has affected the Australian Guineas (1600m) preparations of Polanski and he is set to run in the CS Hayes Stakes on Saturday and go into the Group 1 event at Flemington on March 1 second-up.
Criterion did not win a race during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but was one of the most consistent performers in the three-year-old staying events and is set to return to racing in the CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
The Sebring colt made a slow start to his spring preparation, finishing eleventh in both the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) and the Group 1 Golden Rose (1200m), but returned to his best form with a second place finish behind Eurozone in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).
The three-year-old flew home late to finish second behind Complacent in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick and had no luck when fourth behind Polanski in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
Another colt that is set to have his first race start since running in the Victoria Derby is Peter Snowden-trained San Diego.
San Diego was well backed in the lead-up to the Victoria Derby, after finishing a narrow second behind Polanski in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m), but was hampered at the start of the race and was never able to recover.
Worth A Ransom, The Quarterback, Prince Harada and Monkstone competed in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes just over a week ago and have all been included in the 2014 CS Hayes Stakes nominations.
The Quarterback was not favored by the set weights plus penalties conditions of the Manfred Stakes, but stamped himself as a leading contender for the Australian Guineas with a fast-finishing effort, while Worth A Ransom fought home bravely to finish second.
Prince Harada was well-backed in the lead-up to the race, but failed to show any acceleration when asked for an extra effort by jockey Blake Shinn and he could only work home fairly to finish fourth behind Bull Point.
Last start winner Hucklebuck, Michael Kent-trained Pyrrolic, Queensland based Teronado and Anthony Cummings-trained Surge Ahead have also been included in the 2014 CS Hayes Stakes nominations.
The CS Hayes Stakes is set to be a key lead-up race to the Australia Guineas and you can find the best odds for both events at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2014 CS Hayes Stakes Nominations
|1||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||94|
|2||EPIC SAGA||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||70|
|5||MAHICAN||Peter G Moody||63|
|6||MONKSTONE||Peter G Moody||68|
|8||PRINCE HARADA||Tony Vasil||76|
|10||SAN DIEGO||Peter Snowden||76|
|12||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||75|
|13||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||74|
|14||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||72|
|15||WORTH A RANSOM||Mick Price||70|
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