David Hayes and Tom Dabernig embark on almost impossible task of rare Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double with Criterion   Leave a comment

David Hayes and Tom Dabernig embark on almost impossible task of rare Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double with Criterion

Criterion will have one more run in England, the $1.7 million Juddmonte International Stakes (2000m) at York on August 19, before returning home for the most ambitious of spring campaigns.

Three-time Group 1 winner Criterion easily wins the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth S

Three-time Group 1 winner Criterion easily wins the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes during the Sydney autumn carnival. Picture: Simon Bullard Source: News Corp Australia

CO-TRAINERS David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have set Criterion the almost impossible task of becoming the sixth horse, and first since Makybe Diva, to win the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double in the same year.

I’m good, just wait and see: Criterion. Picture: Colleen Petch

I’m good, just wait and see: Criterion. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

The five horses to have won the Cox Plate and Cup in the same year are Nightmarch (1929), Phar Lap (1930), Rising Fast (1954), Saintly (1996) and Makybe Diva (2005).

Makybe Diva achieved the feat in the year she won her third consecutive Cup, carrying 58kg.

Legendary trainer Bart Cummings climbed the mountain with Saintly, but another of his champions, So You Think, could manage only third in the 2010 Cup after winning his second Cox Plate 10 days before.

Hayes, who is holidaying in Europe, said Criterion would have one lead-up run, the Caulfield Stakes, before tackling the Cox Plate on October 24.

Hayes initially planned to bring the horse back to Australia after his fifth in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, but was hampered by a lack of quarantine facilities.

Werribee Quarantine Centre will not open until September 21 because of redevelopment work.

“He will now come in with the first internationals,” Hayes said.

He believed the four-year-old stallion would handle the 3200m of the Cup.

“He’s had one run at a mile and a half and he won a Derby, so he looks like he could get the trip,” Hayes said.

Criterion gallops with stable mate Purple Music in between races at Moonee Valley last No

Criterion gallops with stable mate Purple Music in between races at Moonee Valley last November. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

“If he’s racing well, owner Sir Owen Glenn is very keen to have a crack at the Melbourne Cup.”

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said three-time Group 1 winner Criterion would face a daunting assignment because he would be rated at the head of the Cup weights.

“When you are 57kg-plus, the record in that weight range in the past 40 years is that only a handful have been able to win it,” he said.

But Carpenter compared Criterion favourably with Saintly, saying Cummings’ striking chestnut had won only one Group 1 — the Australia Cup — before landing the Cox Plate-Cup double.

“Any horse on the world stage rated 120 or higher is in the top 20 or 30 horses in the world, and Criterion is rated at that level,” Carpenter said.

“He was a dominant winner of the Queen Elizabeth during The Championships and he won the (ATC) Derby in rain-affected going, so he’s a high-quality horse and I’d be reasonably confident he’d be able to be competitive in the Melbourne Cup.”

Carpenter said Saintly achieved the rare double before the heavy influx of foreign Cup raiders.

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter says Criterion will face a daunting assi

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter says Criterion will face a daunting assignment because he will be rated at the head of the Melbourne Cup weights. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

Originally published as Hayes dares to dream the impossible dream

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Posted July 9, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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