The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Darren Weir’s one-time VRC Derby favourite Cliff’s Edge has firmed into co-favouritism in futures Australian Guineas 2018 betting following a Caulfield win in last weekend’s Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Manfred Stakes (1200m).
The Canford Cliffs colt was back in winning form first-up, saluting in the Manfred Stakes with a quarter-length victory over Overshare ($13) and Lindsay Park’s Muraaqeb ($6) despite the race being short of his preferred distance.
“He surprises me everything he does,” Weir told Racing Victoria post-win on Saturday.
“He really doesn’t show us much at home but I knew physically he had come on and he was showing a great action in his work.”
It was the first turf triumph for the young stayer since his Caulfield Cup Day win in last October’s Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m).
Cliff’s Edge was being tipped as the three-year-old to beat in the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) in the spring, but he bypassed the event after his second when three and a half-lengths beaten by the filly Aloisia in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).
Instead he took on the older gallopers at weight-for-age at Flemington on November 11 in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) where he was far from disgraced just two lengths back sixth in his midfield finish to the Darren Weir-trained Japanese import Tosen Stardom.
Back against his own age in his resuming Caulfield run last Saturday, Cliff’s Edge looks in line for a big Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival targeting the Group 1 $1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.
Weir won the Australian Guineas two years ago with Palentino (2016) and plans to take Cliff’s Edge to the Group 1 mile classic via the same traditional lead-up with a Group 3 $150,000 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) run next-up on February 17.
The CS Hayes Stakes has produced the past three straight Australian Guineas winners including the Tony McEvoy-trained Hey Doc (2017) who did the double last season.
Updated all-in Australian Guineas betting at Ladbrokes.com.au now lists Cliff’s Edge as the equal $5.50 favourite with his Moonee Valley Vase conqueror, the Aaron Purcell-trained filly Aloisia.
Looking further ahead, Weir plans to take Cliff’s Edge up to Sydney for a likely run in the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 24, a race the Mick Price-trained Tarzino won in 2016 after a lead-up Australian Guineas second.
Cliff’s Edge however is unlikely to be tested over a mile and a half, ruling him out of a shot at the $2 million Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick during ‘The Championships’ in April.
To get behind Cliff’s Edge next-up and to access the best all-in autumn Group 1 racing odds and offers this season, visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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