Royal Ascot 2015: Three in the mix for Criterion ride

Three Australian jockeys are in the mix to ride Criterion at Royal Ascot with Frankie Dettori committed to a John Gosden runner in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

After taking the four-year-old from his Newmarket base to Ascot for a familiarisation gallop on Tuesday, co-trainer David Hayes said he could not be happier with the horse’s preparation.

Dettori had first refusal for the ride on Criterion who was ridden in his gallop by Chad Schofield who is visiting Britain in the Australian off-season.

Schofield, Craig Williams and Damien Oliver are in the three in the mix to ride Criterion.

Hayes said Criterion galloped over 1600m on the course proper on Tuesday, quickening up over the last 600m and clearing out from his work companion.

“He pulled up very clean in the wind so he got the big tick,” Hayes told AAP.

“He looks terrific and his recovery was excellent.

“I would say his form is as good as it’s ever been. I’m not concerned at all.

“I will discuss the jockey options with owner Sir Owen Glenn in the next 24 hours.”

Oliver will be in England to ride Wandjina in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot.

He is on standby to ride Shamal Wind in the King’s Stand Stakes on the opening day of the five-day meeting should Ryan Moore be unable to take the ride due to commitments with Coolmore.

Williams partnered Criterion to victory in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 11 and into third place at his last start in the QEII Cup at Sha Tin on April 26.

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