Criterion is undoubtedly the leading chance of success in Saturday’s 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, but the team remain confident stable mates Dibayani and Rising Romance will also be right in the finish of the feature race on Day 2 of The Championships.
Dibayani has posted a number of commendable results through his short Australian racing tenure so far and returned this time for fourth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on February 13th.
Experiencing a good run in transit in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) a fortnight later, the Shamardal producing a particularly scintillating turn of foot in what was arguably his best performance in Australia to date to finish second behind champion mare Winx.
Having run on for fourth in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 19th, Hayes told AAP the team is thrilled with all three of their entrants leading into the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“Dibayani and Criterion both like the wet and Rising Romance had no luck last start,” Hayes said.
Hayes is particularly pleased with the condition of Criterion this time however, and believes the talented entire is primed to line up for the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in prime condition.
Criterion failed to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up but clearly relished a return to his pet distance when running on for third in the Ranvet Stakes last time out.
“Last year’s winner (Criterion) is hard to go past,” Hayes said.
“It was always the intention to go to the race at his third run and we are happy with him.”
Dibayani has posted two wins and a further ten minors through twenty career starts so far; debuting in Ireland in 2012 before contesting a season in Hong Kong on his way to Hayes and Dabernig’s Euroa stables.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Australian Oaks (2400m), Rising Romance has finished second in Group 1 feature races a total of five times; most recently in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at the conclusion of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds, for which Criterion can be taken at a quote of $6.50, Rising Romance $21 and Dibayani a particularly generous $31.