Leading form analyst Daniel O’Sullivan has Criterion on top of his 2015 Cox Plate tips and he believes that the four-time Group 1 winner represents outstanding value at his current Cox Plate odds.
Criterion was the forgotten horse ahead of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10 after performing well without winning in three race starts in international races, bur he flew home late to record a most impressive victory from Happy Trails and Mongolian Khan.
O’Sullivan told RSN that Criterion’s Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes performance has him perfectly placed to reach his peak form in the 2015 Cox Plate and the Sebring entire is the only horse that he wants to be on in the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
“Criterion is the only local horse that has been to the same level as Highland Reel and he is the one that I really like in the race,” Hayes said.
“Since going to David Hayes he has become an even better horse and he is well-established at the 109, 110 rating level.
“His run in the Hong Kong Cup was at that level and his run in the Queen Elizabeth in the autumn was phenomenal.
“It was a career peak and it was a better rating than Adelaide ran when winning the Cox Plate last year.
“He is very well established at that level and his first-up run was two lengths below that, but it was a perfect platform for him to progress here.
“From that barrier he is going to end up sixth, seventh or eighth in running and that is going to be an ideal positon.
“The fact that off that first-up run, the form of the Hayes stable and the fact this is a target race just provides every reason to be optimistic that he is going to come here and run better than he did last start and go near his peak.
“If he can go near that 109, 110 level then it is really only Highland Reel and perhaps Arod that can match him.
“At $6 it is quite an appealing price and I have him around the $4.60 mark.”
Criterion is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $6 with Ladbrokes.com.au and he is on the second line of betting with Highland Reel ($6), while Winx ($5) is set to start the favourite as favourite.
You can score the best 2015 Cox Plate odds with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single runner in the Cox Plate field.