Star Aussie galloper Criterion is currently installed as a $34 outsider for his latest run overseas this Wednesday when taking on seven rivals in the 2015 Juddmonte International at York Racecourse.
Prepared by Lindsay Park co-trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig after originally racing under the preparation of David Payne, the Sebring stallion runs in the £850,000 Group 1 Juddmonte International (2092m) before returning Down Under for the spring.
A winner of six of his 28 starts to date, the five-year-old was last seen running fifth behind Free Eagle in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2012m) at Royal Ascot on June 17.
His latest turf triumph was in Sydney during the autumn when beating home Ed Dunlop’s triple Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, the veteran back for a fifth straight run in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) this November, in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
That followed a string of good elite level runs from the galloper including his George Ryder Stakes second and Canterbury Stakes third.
His international debut was a third behind champion galloper Designs On Rome in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in mid-December last year, Criterion also having won the Rosehill Guineas – ATC Derby double as a three-year-old.
This week Criterion jumps from barrier six in the eight-horse Juddmonte line-up with European jockey William Buick booked for the ride.
He currently pays $34 in the latest Juddmonte International odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, betting firmly led by the odds-on favourite Golden Horn ($1.67).
An undefeated Cape Cross colt, the John Gosden-trained Golden Horn was last seen posting his fifth win from as many starts when beating home The Grey Gatsby by three and a half lengths in the Group 1 Coral Eclipse Stakes (2018m) at Sandown Park early last month.
The star three-year-old looks hard to beat in gate seven, while The Grey Gatsby also backs up taking on his last start conqueror from the outside barrier (eight).
Other notable hopes in York’s richest race of the season include the Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo colt Gleneagles ($4) who comes off a hat-trick of wins and boasts four previous Group 1 wins, and Roger Charlton’s in-form Dubawi three-year-old Time Test ($6) drawn well in gate three with Pat Smullen to ride.
After the Juddmonte, Criterion is set to return home for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign targeting the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
He ran seventh to the Irish raider Adelaide in last year’s Cox Plate, beaten under one and a half lengths, and currently pays $13 as the equal second pick with an O’Brien-trained raider Highland Reel to win Australasia’s weight-for-age championship this year through Ladbrokes.
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