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Williams To Ride Criterion In Derby
Melbourne jockey Craig Williams has been booked to ride New Zealand-bred and owned colt Criterion (Sebring-Mica's Pride, by Bite the Bullet) in the $1.5 million Gr1 VRC Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2, reports NZ Racing Desk. Williams was aboard the son of Sebring when he landed the Gr2 Todman Stakes at Rosehill in the autumn. The David Payne-trained & Sir Owen Glenn-owned 3YO has been in excellent form this preparation, finishing runner-up in the Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes & Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes at his past two outings. Criterion has been finishing his races off with purpose and resolve, suggesting that the Derby distance should pose no problems. Curiously, however, this represents somewhat of a pedigree contradiction, as Criterion descends from a sprinting family. By a Golden Slipper winner out of a Gr3-winning sprinting mare, he is a half-brother to Gr2 BTC Cup winner Varenna Miss (Redoute's Choice).