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Hayes Has Faith In Criterion

Monday, 15th June 2015

David Hayes has told the British media that he expects Criterion to run a big race in the star-studded Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. The 2000m Gr1 feature has attracted a world-class field that includes US Horse of the Year California Chrome, French Derby & Irish Champion Stakes winner The Grey Gatsby, Japanese Gr1 winner Spielberg, Dermot Weld's prodigiously talented Free Eagle, and the highly progressive John Gosden stable-mates Western Hymn and Eagle Top, but Hayes says that Criterion will not be out of place. "I've been watching the Aussies come here and do so well in the sprints. I always thought if I had a horse that might be good enough it would be great to take the English on at their own game, which is at the middle distance," Hayes said at the Royal Ascot press conference last week. "It's going to be a very, very hard task, it's a great field. Horses are coming from everywhere, but all I can say is my horse is very healthy and I've been very happy with his work." He added: "The horse had a look around Ascot last Tuesday. I was pleased with him, and young Chad Schofield, who rode him, said he handled the undulations very well. I just think 2000 metres around Ascot will really suit him." When asked where winning at Royal Ascot would rank among his and his family's numerous accomplishments in racing, Hayes said it would it would sit right at the top. "It would probably be as good as anything that the stable has done," he said. "My father was a huge fan of English racing and I am too. We respect it so much because we see so many of your B-grade horses come down to win our A-grade races, so it would be nice to bring an A-grade horse and maybe beat your A-graders." He added: "I'm confident he will run competitively but I'm not going to declare him when there are horses coming from all parts of the world that I've never seen before." The Prince Of Wales's Stakes is scheduled as race four on Wednesday's six-race card and will be run at 1:20am Thursday (AEST).


Criterion (image: Steve Hart)
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