With 2015 Cox Plate betting currently led by Irish raider Highland Reel the question is being asked whether the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained local hero Criterion can keep the trophy on home soil this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Last year Aidan O’Brien brought over Adelaide who got the job done for the raiders in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).
Now there is a big chance the trophy for Australasia’s Weight-For-Age Championship will be shipped off back to Ireland with a former stablemate of Adelaide, the O’Brien-trained Highland Reel, the $5.50 in the latest Cox Plate markets.
He has eased out from $5 to $5.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au, who are running Best Tote or SP + 20% on all 10 races this Saturday at the Valley, with last year’s Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup winning jockey Ryan Moore on his back, back down under shooting for another Group 1 win.
One of the best fancied of the Australian contingent looking to stop the Irish raid in 2015 is four-time Group 1 winner Criterion coming off a Caulfield Stakes victory first-up over this distance a fortnight back.
That was his maiden run back home following three overseas assignments and on Saturday he will be out to atone for a seventh when only 1.45 lengths off Adelaide in last year’s Cox Plate finishing order.
So will the star Sebring stallion salute at $6.50 in the Cox Plate and win his fifth elite level?
Cox Plate Horse Form: #1 Criterion
Jockey: Michael Walker
Trainer: David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
Owners: Sir Owen Glenn
Breeding: by Sebring from Mica’s Pride
Last 6: 135×61
Prize Money: $6,303,869
Current 2015 Cox Plate Odds: $6.50
Why Criterion is the Horse to Beat in the 2015 Cox Plate
- Is a five-time Group 1 winner including the Caulfield Stakes first-up last time out over the same distance as the Cox Plate
- The Caulfield Stakes – Cox Plate double was only completed three years ago with Ocean Park (2012)
- Is internationally performed and is placed in Group 1 company overseas
- Improved on a 2nd in last year’s Caulfield Stakes so can improve in his Cox Plate run as well
- Was only beaten 1.45 in last year’s Cox Plate when jumping at the same price but is an improved horse 12 months on
- Has a solid second-up record (6-2-2-0)
- Michael Walker stayers on after riding him to victory in the Caulfield Stakes
- Has won over $6 million in prize money
- Boasts a good record at the distance (11-3-3-2)
Why Criterion Can’t Win the Cox Plate in 2015
- Could only manage to run seventh in the same race last year
- Has only had one run at Moonee Valley when 7th in the 2014 Cox Plate so concerns about the track
- Needs to beat another star Irish galloper in Highland Reel
- Michael Walker has never ridden in a Cox Plate and has had just the one ride on Criterion
- No five-year-old has won the Cox Plate since Northerly (2001)
- Only boasts a 23% Win Rate
Think Criterion is the horse to beat in the Cox Plate? Lock him in online at Ladbrokes.com.au who are also offering an Extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds winner in Races 1 – 5 at Moonee Valley this Saturday!