Criterion Tops Bumper 2014 Australian Derby Field

Criterion

Criterion is out to complete the Rosehill Guineas - Australian Derby 2014 double on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.

David Payne’s last start Rosehill Guineas winner Criterion is set to appreciate another rain-affected Sydney track when they head to Randwick Racecourse this weekend for the 2014 Australian Derby.

The in-form son of Sebring is one of a capacity 18 three-year-olds accepted for this year’s $2 million Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m) running as Randwick Race 6 at 3:10pm (AEST).

Early favourite pre-Australian Derby barrier draw is Criterion, due to be ridden by Hugh Bowman.

Bowman was aboard the exciting colt on March 29 in their latest run where they easily accounted for their Rosehill Guineas rivals by three and a half lengths over the 2000m.

Second also to Cox Plate winner Shamus Award in Flemington’s Australian Guineas earlier this autumn, Criterion is also no stranger to the longer distance they’ll get on the weekend having run a brave fourth to Polanski in Victoria Derby (2500m) in the spring.

While their lead-up form and ability over the ground is convincing, starting favourite in the Australian Derby is statistically a negative with only two of the past 10 punters’ picks saluting.

It’s definitely a race known for throwing up an upset too with 7 Australian Derby winners since 1983 winning at double figures.

Coming off a run behind Criterion at Rosehill are a number of other Derby acceptors including runner-up Thunder Fantasy for Anthony Cummings and the Bruce Hill-trained Gold Coast galloper Teronado stepping up to the mile and half for the first time here.

Lucky Owners colt Thunder Fantasy was no match for Criterion last start, but did have their measure going one better when third in the Victoria Derby last November.

Cummings is well represented in this year’s Australian Derby field with Thunder Fantasy joined by their stable mates Surge Ahead coming off a Rosehill Guineas seventh and Savabeel gelding Best Case.

Best Case is on a short seven day turnaround here having finished third to Gallatin in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) in a gutsy effort in the mud last weekend.

Tulloch Stakes winner Gallatin is also backing up in the Derby, Peter Snowden’s up-and-coming Street Cry three-year-old in their Group 1 debut.

Singing Flame (2nd) and Mountain View (4th) were the next best over the line in the Tulloch on Golden Slipper Day, both out for an upset in the Derby.

Along with Criterion the other big name Australian Derby player in 2014 is then Peter McKay’s Kiwi raider Puccini.

The Encosta De Lago colt enjoyed a big two length win, their third on the trot, in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at the start of March earning a trip down under to chase our autumn riches.

They debuted in Australia on March 29 in the Rosehill Guineas but finished well back in the pack 12th, 12 lengths off the winner.

Unsuited to a drop back from 2400m to 2000m, Puccini is set to improve on that run dramatically when they go back up to the Derby distance and should benefit from their Sydney run.

Also in the mix are the likes of Snowden’s Victoria Derby fifth placed Tupac Amaru, the Peter Moody-trained Cadillac Mountain and Casino Prince colt Hooked coming off a Rosehill Guineas fifth.

Check out the full ATC Australian Derby 2014 field and jockeys below, the barrier draw to be conducted this afternoon.

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2014 Australian Derby Final Field

Randwick Race 6 – 3:10pm (AEST) – 12/04/2014

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt.
1 00224×4281 CRITERION (NZ) David Payne Hugh Bowman 0 56.5kg 108
2 3514141110 PUCCINI (NZ) Peter & Jacob McKay Craig Williams 0 56.5kg 105
3 11593×1382 THUNDER FANTASY Anthony Cummings Damien Oliver 0 56.5kg 101
4 312310×374 SAVVY NATURE (NZ) John O’Shea James McDonald 0 56.5kg 96
5 4125×35543 TERONADO Bruce W Hill Craig Newitt 0 56.5kg 90
6 1x2131x700 KOROIBETE Gerald Ryan Damian Browne 0 56.5kg 81
7 1151×7637 SURGE AHEAD Anthony Cummings Zac Purton 0 56.5kg 78
8 3x513x6351 GALLATIN Peter Snowden Nash Rawiller 0 56.5kg 93
9 x4444x5855 HOOKED John P Thompson Blake Shinn 0 56.5kg 85
10 124144×153 BEST CASE (NZ) Anthony Cummings Christian Reith 0 56.5kg 84
11 5x0170x611 CRIME FIGHTER Peter G Moody Luke Nolen 0 56.5kg 73
12 x21925x309 TUPAC AMARU Peter Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 0 56.5kg 70
13 2868×61012 SINGING FLAME Kevin Moses Tim Clark 0 56.5kg 89
14 2419×128 CADILLAC MOUNTAIN Peter G Moody Chad Schofield 0 56.5kg 75
15 66×5100212 SOLO SAGA Bevan Laming Jim Cassidy 0 56.5kg 68
16 3310×31434 MOUNTAIN VIEW (NZ) John Sargent Joao Moreira 0 56.5kg 79
17 x14579x961 SURGING WAVE David Hayes Michael Rodd 0 56.5kg 66
18 870×003305 HERESDECASINO Neville & Christopher Voigt 0 56.5kg 50

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