Talented three-year-old Criterion has broken through for a maiden Group 1 victory at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon, making a key move rounding the final bend to win the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) ahead of Thunder Fantasy and Teronado.
Breaking from the gates only fairly, Criterion took up a position within the pack, allowing early leaders and pre-post favourites Shamus Award and Puccini to set the pace.
Approaching the bend seemingly well and truly out of contention, the talented Sebring colt took advantage of a wide swing from the main pack, saving around 6 lengths in hugging the rails and finding the main straight in the clear, powering away to win by more than three-and-a-half lengths.
Trainer David Payne was confident of a successful run from Criterion in the 2014 Rosehill Guineas, despite a less-than-convincing run for eighth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) last time out.
“He’s just becoming mature now, and he was ridden properly today, you’ve got to leave him alone” Payne said following the triumph.
“He was just ridden upside down the other day, missed the break, chased a bit and over-raced.
“From day one we knew this is what he was looking for, the 2000 plus
“We knew he’d finish it off, but we still didn’t know about the weather, if he could handle the wet but looks like it isn’t a problem for him.”
Leading jockey Hugh Bowman identified the winning line rounding the final bend of the Rosehill Guineas, but was quick to lay the praise on his in-form mount, who was attempting only his second-career start at 2000 metres.
“This horse has raced at the top grade his whole career and last time I rode him was the Golden Slipper” Bowman said immediately after the Guineas.
“He’s been racing well in Melbourne this preparation; he came here and didn’t have much luck in the Australian Guineas two weeks ago.
“Up to the 2000 he was aided by a pretty genuinely run race that suited him; I was able to get where I wanted to be from a wide draw and he just took me into the race when the gaps came.
“From the 600 when I asked him to take me into the race he did it with all guns loaded and didn’t he finish it off well.
“He’ll go onto the derby now and on that performance you’d expect him to be favourite and rightfully so.”
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2014 Rosehill Guineas Results
|1||3||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Hugh Bowman||–||12||56.5kg||$14|
|2||6||THUNDER FANTASY||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.5L||6||56.5kg||$12|
|3||9||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Craig Newitt||5L||3||56.5kg||$8|
|4||5||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||5.1L||10||56.5kg||$13|
|5||10||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||6L||8||56.5kg||$61|
|6||2||DISSIDENT||Peter G Moody||Jim Cassidy||6.2L||7||56.5kg||$4.20EF|
|7||8||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||7.9L||9||56.5kg||$31|
|8||14||CADILLAC MOUNTAIN||Peter G Moody||Chad Schofield||8.1L||14||56.5kg||$19|
|9||13||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||8.2L||13||56.5kg||$21|
|10||15||SHOW THE WORLD (NZ)||Murray Baker||Nash Rawiller||8.2L||15||56.5kg||$31|
|11||16||MR ONE ELEVEN||John Sargent||Jay Ford||10.1L||4||56.5kg||$51|
|12||4||PUCCINI (NZ)||Peter & Jacob McKay||Michael Walker||12L||2||56.5kg||$4.20EF|
|13||11||ORDER OF THE SUN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||12.8L||5||56.5kg||$26|
|14||1||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||18.5L||1||56.5kg||$8|
|15||17||EYRE SQUARE||Diane Poidevin-Laine||Jason Collett||25.7L||11||56.5kg||$201|