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Hayes Looking Forward To Cox Plate With Criterion
Trainer David Hayes has spoken of his frustration regarding Criterion's luckless sixth placing in Wednesday's Gr1 Juddmonte International at York. The three-time Australian Gr1 winner was bumped by the eventual runner-up Golden Horn at a crucial stage of the race, resulting in him losing his position and dropping out to the rear of the field. While not suggesting that Criterion would have beaten the winner Arabian Queen, Hayes feels he would have at least finished third ahead of The Grey Gatsby had he not encountered trouble in running. "It was a bit frustrating," Hayes told Melbourne radio station RSN yesterday. "He was getting a lovely run but was then severely interfered with, with about 1200m to run. He was put into the rail and was then shuffled to the back of the field." Despite his disappointment, Hayes said the 5YO had come through the run looking a million dollars and is set to return to Australia in a few weeks time to prepare for a tilt at the Cox Plate in October. "He pulled up very well. We were always using this race to have him on the right leg for his Australian races and I'm sure that will be the case. He looked magnificent in the yard," Hayes said. "The Cox Plate will be his main target and then we'll make a decision after that." Criterion is expected to arrive back in Australia on 26 September.