One of two likely Australian representatives in this year’s Hong Kong International Races on December 14, the David Hayes-trained Hong Kong Cup 2014 hope Criterion has suffered from a bout of colic but is still overseas-bound.
The four-year-old Sebring stallion is one of 13 final acceptors for the HK$25 million Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), to run at Sha Tin Racecourse Sunday week.
Winner of the Rosehill Guineas – ATC Derby Group 1 double as a three-year-old, Criterion suffered an early blow ahead of his maiden international trip however suffering a bout of colic on Sunday night.
Due to fly to Hong Kong at 3:30pm on Monday afternoon along with 2014 Hong Kong Sprint-bound Buffering, Criterion will now travel on a later flight.
Hayes is trying to secure new plans after the setback that sees the horse miss the same flight Rob Heathcote’s four-time Group 1 winner Buffering flies out on today.
Hayes remains confident however that Criterion will make the rescheduled trip and be competitive in the Hong Kong Cup after working well again on Monday morning.
“He had a mild bout of colic last night which we treated and it settled down and he was still able to work this morning,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.
“He’s back to normal today and is eating his feed but I’m just exploring at the moment whether I’m able to get a flight a day later.
“It doesn’t make much of a difference if he leaves a day later and it doesn’t really make a difference if he leaves four days later to be honest.”
The only reason Hayes and his co-trainer nephew Tom Dabernig would have to call off the Hong Kong Cup plans would be if Criterion suffered a second colic attack.
The $2.6 million earner hasn’t won a race since the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) back in April but has been racing well this season.
Most recently he ran a fast finishing seventh when only 1.7 lengths off Adelaide in the Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) on October 25 before his last start fifth to Happy Trails in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1.
Early Hong Kong Cup odds are led by the likes of Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year Designs On Rome and Military Attack who was ridden by Australian expat Zac Purton when second to Blazing Speed in the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) on November 23.
Criterion meanwhile also sits inside the first half of betting at a quote of around $10 after an exhibition gallop over 1400m at Moonee Valley on Saturday before his bout of colic.
Our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au will open their Hong Kong betting markets shortly making now the time to open your account with the bookie that does it better including up to $500 in bonus bets for customers this season!