Criterion has drifted out to 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $17, but co-trainer David Hayes remains confident that his star galloper is ready to run a big race in the $6 million event this afternoon.
Criterion was a short as $12 in 2015 Melbourne Cup betting markets after he was allocated barrier four at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw on Saturday afternoon, but there has been no support for the Sebring entire in the past 24 hours and he is now out to $17 to deliver Hayes a second victory in the Melbourne Cup.
Hayes told RSN this morning that he could not have Criterion any fitter ahead of the 2015 Melbourne Cup and he believes that the five-year-old deserves to be rated a leading contender based on his second place finish behind Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“I think he just has a great base fitness because he has been in work for 18 months,” Hayes said.
“It won’t be fitness, his attitude is terrific and his coat looks magnificent.
“He has broken a track record at his last start and he has improved out of it.
“With his big weight he needs to produce a huge performance to win, but I think that he is capable of it.
“He has the class.”
Criterion completed his Melbourne Cup preparation with stablemate Almoonqith this morning and Hayes said that he could not be happier with the condition of both horses ahead of the $6 million race.
Hayes is confident that both Criterion and Almoonqith go into the Melbourne Cup as genuine winning chances and he believes that there is not a great deal between the horses.
“They both had a quite canter on the track at Flemington,” Hayes said.
“They have eaten up and they are really healthy and well.
“They have had perfect preps into the race.
“It will be interesting to see how they both race.
“I think that the market has got it pretty well right.
“There is not much between them in the market and that is probably true of what I think of the horses.”
Criterion is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $17 with Ladbrokes, while Almoonqith is priced at $18 to record the biggest win of his racing career to date.
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