Hong Kong Cup placegetter Criterion could launch another international mission after the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Criterion is one of four horses from the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable added to nominations for next month’s Group One Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Kranji.
Australian Cup winner Spillway, Group winner Star Fashion and import Guest Of Honour are also entered but Dabernig said they were unlikely to make the trip.
“I think we’ll be guided a bit after the Queen Elizabeth. Criterion maybe might be the one that we consider there that could go,” Dabernig said.
Criterion will chase his third Group One win when he tackles Sydney’s richest race, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
He won the Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby last year when trained by David Payne.
His two autumn runs this time have been strong with a third in the Canterbury Stakes and a close second in the George Ryder Stakes.
His Hong Kong Cup third in December came at his first start for Hayes and Dabernig.
He will wear a barrier blanket on Saturday having been tested in one in a Randwick barrier trial last week.
“He’s just been jumping a fraction slow and we thought if we trial in one we will put one on for the race,” Dabernig said.
“The plan is he’ll jump cleanly with the barrier blanket on.
“He should be at his peak and the other good thing is he’s got heavy track form.
“It’s hard to know what the track will be like next week but with all the rain about I think that should play into his favour.
“He goes on top of the ground as well but you hope with a bit of rain about it might even out a few of the other chances.”
Craig Williams rides Criterion while Michael Walker is on stablemate Spillway who will attempt the Australian Cup-Queen Elizabeth Stakes double.
Spillway also pleased his trainers in the same trial last Tuesday.
“He’s in excellent shape too and he also doesn’t mind a bit of give in the ground. He’s had a great preparation for it,” Dabernig said.
“He’s a nice, fit, healthy horse heading into next Saturday.”
Criterion is considered the best chance of the duo, sharing the third line of betting at $8 with Cox Plate winner Adelaide and Japanese visitor Tosen Stardom while Spillway is at $15.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au