Will Criterion Keep Cox Plate 2015 Trophy at Home?

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.


Criterion shoots for his fifth Group 1 victory looking to improve on a seventh last year in the 2015 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

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

Barrier: 7

Weight: 59kg

Jockey: Michael Walker

Trainer: David Hayes & Tom Dabernig

Owners: Sir Owen Glenn

Age: 5YO

Gender: Stallion

Breeding: by Sebring from Mica’s Pride

Career: 30-7-6-5

Win: 23%

Place: 58%

Last 6: 135×61

Prize Money: $6,303,869

Track: 1-0-0-0

Distance: 11-3-3-2

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!


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