Defeat in the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup changed nothing for David Hayes-trained Criterion, who is still on a plane bound for Royal Ascot on Tuesday morning.
"He couldn't get cover and he was a a little bit keen," Hayes said after a meritorious third, beaten a breath by Japan's Staphanos for the second placing. "Craig Williams said he didn't want to get stuck in behind leader, Same World, who was a big outsider, so he came two wide and probably that didn't suit the horse as well as having cover. It was still a brave effort, two weeks after running in Sydney and having travel in between."
Hideaki Fujiwara was delighted with Staphanos, who might have run a clearer second according to jockey Yuichi Fukunaga and the trainer is already making plans to return in December.
"I wanted to come to the outside but the winner was there and held me in and I had to go back inside, otherwise I finish closer," said Fukunaga.
John Moore said Designs On Rome (fourth) had been another to run "a touch flat" after going to Dubai and back.
"Joao Moreira said he wasn't quite at his top today, that trip took a bit out of him," Moore said. "He was still a very determined effort and knockled down and chased, he just wasn't at his very best. Now we have some time to get him right again for the Champions & Chater in a month. My other horse, Helene Happy Star ran very well, he's going to be better next season but he can head to the 2,400m features now too."
Jockey Stephane Pasquier said Pascal Bary-trained Smoking Sun didn't really switch on in the race but is still going on to the Singapore Airlines International Cup with hopes of matching his second there last year.
Military Attack also heads there after trainer Caspar Fownes was not disappointed with a seventh for the 2013 QE II winner, who had undergone a vet check hours prior just to make the field:"After what's happened with him, I can't be disappointed with getting beaten less than three lengths - Singapore is definitely on." Andreas Schutz said Packing Llaregyb's close fifth was mission accomplished and he too hoped to gain an invitation for Singapore, but the Kranji trip could be off the menu for Red Cadeaux, who came in second last.
"He got away with it in Sydney on the wet but 2,000m is too sharp for him on firm ground like he encountered today," said jockey Hugh Bowman.
Douglas Whyte said Helene Super Star had run with credit but he had recommended to Tony Cruz some tweaking of the gear: "When it got serious in the straight, he was having a bit of a look at the others and a set of winkers might be in order to get him to concentrate."