Criterion and Buffering have arrived in Hong Kong ahead of the 2014 Hong Kong International Raceday at Sha Tin on December 14 after a dramatic day almost saw Criterion miss the flight.
Criterion suffered from a mild bout of colic on Sunday night that co-trainer David Hayes initially thought would see the Sebring entire miss the initial flight to Hong Kong, but Hayes opted to go ahead with his original plan to put Criterion on the flight with Buffering last night.
Hayes’ personal vets as well as Racing Victoria Veterinarian Brian Stewart all agreed that Criterion was fit to make the trip and he was taken to the airport before a government vet ruled that the four-year-old should not be allowed on the flight.
It looked as though Criterion would have to leave Australia on a later flight or miss out on the trip to Hong Kong altogether, but after lengthy discussions with all parties involved, the two-time Group 1 winner was cleared to get on the plane.
Hayes told TVN that it was lucky that the flight had been delayed and that he was just glad that the stressful day had concluded with Criterion arriving safely in Hong Kong.
“The AQUIS vet thought that the horse should not go as he’d had a colic attack,” Hayes said.
“There are degrees of colic; a horse can get an upset colic and it passes then you can get a severe attack, which lingers for a long time and then you get the really bad colic, the stage 3 colic, which is operational and life threatening.
“He had stage one, it caused him discomfort, but he recovered well with treatment.
“We had the horse at the airport healthy and well and ready to go and they said he couldn’t go.
“If the plane was on time, he would not have been on it because when it was scheduled to leave he wasn’t allowed to go.
“What a day.”
Criterion is expected to be given a few quiet days in Hong Kong before he begins serious preparations for the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Compared to Criterion, Buffering had a trouble free trip to Hong Kong and connections confirmed overnight that the Mossman gelding had arrived safely ahead of the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m).
Buffering is currently available at 2014 Hong Kong International Sprint odds of $9, while Criterion is available at a quote of $11 to become the first Australian-trained winner of the Hong Kong Cup since State Taj in 1994.