Criterion has been backed into 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes odds of $7.50 and co-trainer Tom Dabernig believes that the talented entire has been underrated ahead of the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Criterion has not raced in Australia since he recorded a most impressive win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11, but he performed well in three race starts in Hong Kong and England and he has form around the likes of Golden Horn, Free Eagle and The Grey Gatsby.
Dabernig said that there was plenty to like about the performances of Criterion in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the Juddmonte International Stakes and he believes that the triple Group 1 winner has been the forgotten horse in the 2015 Caulfield Stakes.
“He has a great coat on him and he has travelled and done well since he arrived back in Australia at Werribee,” Dabernig told Racing Ahead.
“I was quite surprised that he is where he is in the market and he has form in Europe behind Free Eagle and Golden Horn.
“I’m not sure whether people really understand the international form and his form in Australia is outstanding.
“I am glad to be saddling him up on Saturday.”
Criterion returned to Australia with the first planeload of international 2015 Spring Racing Carnival contenders last Saturday and he has settled into the Werribee International Horse Centre without any issues.
Dabernig said that Criterion quickly put back on the weight that he lost during the flight from the United Kingdom to Melbourne and he is happy with the residual fitness levels of the five-year-old ahead of the Caulfield Stakes.
“They always lose a little bit off the plane, but he hydrated very quickly and he was straight on to his feed,” Dabernig said.
“His condition is good and it is perfect heading into the race.
“He has a large amount of residual fitness and he hasn’t raced for a couple of months, so there will be nice improvement.
“We then have two weeks into the Cox Plate and I think that will be perfect.”
Lindsay Park are chasing their first win in the Caulfield Stakes since the Colin Hayes-trained Almaarad took out the 1989 edition of the race.
Criterion has been back from Caulfield Stakes odds of $12 into $7.50 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear market mover, while Kermadec ($3) remains a clear favourite from Fawkner ($4.80), Pornichet ($6) and Contributer ($7).
Ladbrokes are giving punters the chance to score the best odds for the Caulfield Stakes as well as every other race at Caulfield on Saturday with their best tote or starting price +20% special!