Criterion Takes Out Kamberra Wine Company Black Opal Stakes

By: Racing and Sports

Sunday, 10 March 2013: David Payne has unearthed his Golden Slipper chance with Criterion taking out the Kamberra Wine Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday.

Ridden by Glyn Schofield, Criterion  came into the race on the back of a last start third in the Canonburry Stakes, doing a lot wrong on that occasion and the addition of blinkers seem to do the trick today.

Whittington, who was second in the Canonburry franked that form yesterday when winning the Lonhro Stakes at Warwick Farm with both horses now seemingly heading into the Golden Slipper.

From a wide barrier Criterion settled back today with Quartzite and favourite Sidestep  setting a fast early tempo.

Sidestep took up proceedings at the 200m before Criterion came with a strong run down the outside to grab a narrow win over Sidestep in second and local runner Meticulously  well back in third.

“I knew he was going to be a bit green and back but he has such a nice big action on him,” said Payne.

“Once he knows what’s going on he is going to be a serious racehorse and in my opinion he is the best of the sebring crop,” he added.

“He beat that sweet idea who came out and won last week he has the ability he is just a big dumb baby at the moment.

When speaking about the record of Black Opal winners backing up into the Golden Slipper to win, Payne said he does not believe in history when it comes to these sorts of things and that everything works out.

“We will have a look at him when he gets home but I will probably run him once more before going into the Golden Slipper.”