AFTER an eventful and at times dramatic day, Criterion finally took off for Hong Kong, reports Racing Network. Initially, David Hayes was concerned about Criterion travelling after he suffered a mild bout of colic.

But, after Criterion responded to treatment and then meetings between Hayes and the owners, it was decided the horse would join Buffering on Monday's scheduled flight to Hong Kong.

Hayes said his vets cleared Criterion to travel and he consulted Racing Victoria vet Dr Brian Stewart, but when the horse arrived at the airport the drama escalated.

“The AQUIS vet thought that the horse should not go as he’d had a colic attack,” Hayes said.

“There are degrees of colic. A horse can get an upset colic and it passes then you can get a severe attack, which lingers for a long time, and then you get the really bad colic, the stage 3 colic, which is operational and life threatening.

“He had stage one. It caused him discomfort, but he recovered well with treatment.

“We had the horse at the airport healthy and well and ready to go and they said he couldn’t go.”

Hayes said he withdrew from the discussion as vets argued whether the horse should or shouldn’t go.

He said Criterion went from going to not going to eventually going and in the end the fact that plane was delayed worked in his favour.

“If the plane was on time, he would not have been on it because when it was scheduled to leave he wasn’t allowed to go,” Hayes said.

“What a day.”