The 2016 Ranvet Stakes field has been released and Criterion is one of nine horses that have been included in the entries for the Group 1 event that will be held at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Criterion was originally set to contest the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) – a race he finished second in last year – but co-trainer David Hayes elected to step-up the Sebring entire up to 2000 metres for the Ranvet Stakes.
The future stallion has recorded three of his four Group 1 wins over 2000 metres and he had drawn ideally in barrier three with Michael Walker back in the saddle.
The other Group 1 winner in the 2016 Ranvet Stakes field is Mongolian Khan, who will start next to Criterion in barrier four.
Mongolian Khan suffered a minor colic attack following his win in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) that ruled him out of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and he returned to the races with a flat performance in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on February 27.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2016 Ranvet Stakes field is Hauraki, who was the best-backed runner following the release of the nominations earlier in the week.
Hauraki was unable to record a race win during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, but he has performed well in both the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Chipping Norton Stakes this preparation and connections are confident that he will relish the step-up to 2000 metres.
Trainer Chris Waller won the 2013 edition of the Ranvet Stakes with Foreteller and he is set to have three winners in this year’s race in the form of Storm The Stars, Kool Kompany and Weary.
Storm The Stars made his Australian racing debut with a credible performance in the Chipping Norton Stakes, while Kool Kompany (fourth) and Weary (eighth) will be backing up in the Ranvet Stakes after running in the Ajax Stakes last weekend.
Another horse that is set to race for the second time in as many weeks is Lloyd Williams-owned The United States, who will head to Sydney for the first time in his racing career.
The United States returned to the races with a fast-finishing fifth in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 27 and he was only narrowly denied by He Or She in a high-rating Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last weekend.
The 2016 Ranvet Stakes field is rounded out by Gai Waterhouse-trained Bohemian Lily, who has performed fairly in both the Apollo Stakes and Randwick City Stakes this preparation.