David Payne admits to being a little disappointed with Criterion’s unplaced effort in the Golden Rose and will use Saturday’s Stan Fox Stakes as a yardstick for future spring Group One targets.
The colt was slow out of the gates in the $1 million Golden Rose on September 14 and although he received a check coming to the turn, he showed some immaturity despite his previous experience which includes a Group Two win in the Todman Stakes.
The Stan Fox is over 1500 metres and the trainer will use the race to determine whether to press on to the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) two weeks later.
Criterion’s stablemate Dowdstown Charlie is also among the nine Stan Fox entries but will be redirected to the Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
“Criterion was slow out of the gates again in the Golden Rose and was green around the bend,” Payne said.
“I’m hoping he steps up on Saturday and shows that he can go the extra distance and we can head to the Spring Champion Stakes.
“Dowdstown Charlie will run in the Gloaming and may also go to the Spring Champion.”
Dowdstown Charlie was also a two-year-old winner for Payne but the trainer was a notable absentee from Monday’s official barrier trials for the new season’s youngsters.
“I don’t have any young horses that are up and running,” he said.
“And I don’t have as many two-year-olds as I have had in the past.”
Payne does, however, have an eight-year-old who is still going strong in Centennial Park who contests Saturday’s Group Two Shannon Stake (1500m), a race he ran second in three years ago.
“He will keep racing as long as he stays sound,” Payne said.
“He is going well and the 1500 metres suits.”
Centennial Park is the highest rated of the 14 Shannon entries at 100 and a win will make him a racing millionaire.