Home' Sydney Morning Herald Form Guide : April 5th 2013 Contents 1HERSA1 G001
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Slipper contenders: Criterion (yellow cap) gets the better of Sidestep in last month's Black Opal Stakes in Canberra. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Criterion to give Payne relief
Criterion "has done nothing
wrong" as a two-year-old yet the
last two winning jockeys to ride
him will be on other runners in
Saturday's $3.5 million Golden
Slipper (1200 metres) at Rosehill.
"Jockeys are the worst judges,"
trainer David Payne said dismis-
sively. "Ask them if they want to be
on him now."
The barrier draw only reinforced
Criterion's claims as he will jump
from barrier two with Hugh Bow-
man in the saddle. Glyn Schofield,
who rode him to a stunning win in
the Black Opal, will be on Charlie
Boy, which jumps from 14, while
Craig Williams, who had the seat in
Criterion's Todman Stakes win,
rides Ruud Awakening, which has
the outside alley of 18. "The jockeys
want to lock away their rides so
early for these races," Payne said.
"Glyn was committed to the other
horse before the Black Opal, but I'm
sure he would love to change now.
"Craig had been booked for the
Kiwi filly. So no one really turned
the ride down. We had to find
someone and there were plenty of
offers, and Hugh Bowman is one of
the best around."
Payne says Criterion is under-
rated but he couldn't blame the
jockeys for their assessment as he
doesn't have the Sebring colt at the
top of his list of juveniles.
"I trained some really good two-
year-olds in South Africa, so I have
had better," he said. "He isn't up
with them yet but that could change
very quickly on Saturday. I still
think he is underrated, but most of
my horses are, he goes out, wins,
and has never disappointed me."
Criterion has won three of his
four starts, beating Slipper oppos-
ition each time -- Sweet Idea, Side-
step and Fast 'N' Rocking filled
runners-up stalls in his wins.
However, it was his only defeat, in
the Canonbury Stakes behind Nev-
er Can Tell and Whittington in
February, which benefited him
most. That was when Payne real-
ised blinkers were needed to find
the best from Criterion.
"You could just see it. He needed
something to focus him and that's
what [the blinkers] have done," he
said. "It has got him concentrating
and turned him around."
Criterion sat wide at the tail of
the field in the Black Opal before
storming to victory down the
centre and then made a long run
again to win the Todman Stakes
two weeks ago. It is that style of
racing that will be suited come Sat-
urday when the pressure is turned
up many notches on what is likely
to be a wet track.
"No one really knows how their
horses are going to react on the wet
track, it makes the race more inter-
esting," Payne said. "I thought the
favourite [Overreach] was vulner-
able, even though she has been
very impressive. She has been able
to do it her way at her wins and that
will not happen in the Slipper.
"I can't see her out in front hav-
ing things her own way on Sat-
urday, like she has in her wins. My
horse will race in his same style, it
is just whether he is good enough."
Continued Page 2
@hugebowman is emblazoned
on the leg of champion rider
Hugh Bowman every time he
rides these days. It is a sign of
the times that Bowman has his
Twitter handle on his breeches,
but it could prove prophetic on
Sydney's richest race day.
"It is something Chris Sy-
mons did in Melbourne and I
thought 'why not give it a go?' "
Bowman said. "I'm not there to
sell myself and I'm not on there
a hell of a lot."
Bowman's talent doesn't need
selling, but he admitted to hav-
ing not graced the winner's cir-
cle in a couple of weeks on Wed-
nesday. However, it has not
stopped him being the jockey of
choice for the top carnival rides.
He won the ride on Black
Opal and Todman Stakes win-
ner Criterion in the Golden Slip-
per and was called on to ride
Victoria Derby winner Fiveand-
ahalfstar in The BMW -- and in
next week's Australian Derby.
He also picked up the ride on
Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter,
which takes on Black Caviar in
next week's T. J. Smith.
It is clear Bowman sits in the
top echelon of jockeys in the
country after winning the
premiership last year in Sydney.
The winless drought could
turn to a group 1 flood on Sat-
urday given his book of Norzita,
Fiveandahalfstar, Streama, Cri-
terion and Shoot Out.
"It is not a worry [not riding a
winner for a couple of weeks]
when you have rides like that,"
he said. "But I have been around
long enough to know my job. It's
to give them their chance and
that's what I will doing."
Bowman has three group 1
wins for the season, two on
Shoot Out, which he rides in the
George Ryder Stakes and the
other on Norzita in the Flight
Stakes in the spring. Norzita
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