Walker Thrilled to Partner Criterion in 2015 Caulfield Stakes

October 7th, 2015

Jockey Michael Walker partnered Criterion in a strong piece of work on Tuesday morning, and is confident the horse is in the right condition for first-up success in Saturday’s 2015 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).

Criterion will be partnered by Michael Walker in Saturday's 2015 Caulfield Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Criterion will be partnered by Michael Walker in Saturday’s 2015 Caulfield Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Criterion returned to racing this year for third in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m); progressing to second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) before producing a career-best effort to date for success in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day 2 of The Championships.

Walker has never partnered the Sebring entire competitively but has completed work for trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig a number of times and is confident the horse will be tough to beat in the 2015 Caulfield Stakes.

“To me from when I first sat on him to now, if anything, he’s mentally a different horse,” Walker told AAP.

“Physically he’s always been a beautiful animal and I’m just looking forward to riding him in a race.

“If everything comes off he could be one of the best stayers that I’ve ever ridden.

“The good thing about him he was really relaxed and wouldn’t have blown a match out afterwards.

“He did the gallop stress-free and walked back nicely.

“Fingers crossed, toes crossed, everything crossed, I’m hoping he comes through every race with flying colours and he ends up running in all three races.”

Posting an impressive total of six wins and eleven minors through 29 career starts so far, Criterion stamped his claims as one to watch from his first appearance on course in late 2012, but undoubtedly found peak condition for the first time during a 2014 Autumn Carnival campaign highlighted by victories in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

Continuing to impress last spring, Criterion was sent abroad following his recent win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes; running third in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) in Hong Kong before placing fifth in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) and sixth in the Group 1 Juddmonte International (2092m) in the UK.

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Caulfield Stakes odds, for which Criterion can be taken at a generous quote of $9 for success!