Trade Fair Sharp in Newmarket's Criterion

Three-year-old Trade Fair continued his comeback Saturday with an impressive victory in the Criterion Stakes (Eng-III) at Newmarket.

Once the 2,000 Guineas favorite, the son of Zafonic was set back in the spring due to a burst blood vessel. The Criterion was his second victory since his return in a listed stakes win in late May.

The Khalid Abdullah-owned colt, ridden by Richard Hughes, won the seven-furlong heat at sun-drenched Newmarket by four lengths over Just James, who ran on after trailing the field into the final furlong. King of Happiness was three lengths farther behind in third in a field of 11.

Relaxed early while in touch with leading group, Hughes launched his winning bid 1 1/2 furlongs from the finish, taking command with an eighth of a mile to go. He sprinted the uphill straight from there to win under a slight urging.

"I was really pleased with him from start to finish," winning trainer Roger Charlton told The Racing Post. "He was wandering around beforehand and was very settled and right. He showed an electric turn of foot, the ground was a little loose on top and fast ground would have helped him more.

"I will have to consult the owner as I don't know what his distance is. He has a lot of speed but gave the impression he would stay."

When pressed, Charlton said, "It's possible he could go for the Sussex but it was a graveyard for his sire Zafonic and we will have to see."