Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Darren Weir’s smart colt Cliff’s Edge is tipped to return to winning form at The Valley on Friday night as the odds-on favourite in the Alister Clark Stakes 2018 field and betting markets.
Due to run as Moonee Valley Race 7 at 9:30pm (AEDT), this year’s Group 2 $200,000 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) has drawn a final field of a dozen three-year-old hopefuls.
Dominating the Alister Clark Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $1.85 and firming is Canford Cliffs colt Cliff’s Edge chasing his first victory since a first-up Caulfield win in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) in early February.
Thrashed by the filly Aloisia when runner-up in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) at this track and distance last October on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day, Cliff’s Edge is out to atone fourth-up reaching peak fitness on Friday.
He backed-up from this first-up success running second to Grunt in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) before a luckless midfield seventh to the same galloper in the Group 3 Australian Guineas (1600m) from a wide barrier (15 of 16) last time out.
Better suited to the tight Moonee Valley track and with winning form at the distance, Cliff’s Edge is the market mover and will also enjoy the drop in grade in the Alister Clark.
There are just two other single-figure fancies in the Alister Clark Stakes betting markets with Astoria ($4.50) and Salsamor ($8) in barriers seven and six respectively considered the main dangers.
Ace hoop Craig Williams jumps aboard the Godolphin-raced Astoria who hasn’t run out of the money in his last three starts going back to last October.
Best known for his third to Ace High in the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m), the Medaglia D’Oro colt has had two nice Caulfield runs this time in ahead of his Moonee Valley debut.
Astoria ran a first-up third to Holy Snow in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) before a second behind Valiant Spirit in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) and presents fitter third-up looking to win for the first time since last September’s Group 3 Newcastle Spring Stakes (1600m).
Salsamor also presents as a livewire chance having his third run at The Valley where he boasts two previous placings.
The Tavistock colt is another Australian Guineas graduate looking to atone for his ninth in the March 3 showdown.
Again, getting back to Moonee Valley should work in this Kiwi-bred youngster’s favour as his last start at the track produced a nice second behind Showtime in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m).
Salsamor also gets the blinkers on for the first time here and they should switch him on.
Of the longer-priced Alister Clark Stakes contenders those with claims at an upset include Pierro colt Levendi ($10) who ran dead last in the Australian Guineas after weakening late and the rails-drawn Belfast ($12) who is a stablemate to Salsamor coming off an Autumn Classic fourth.
2018 Alister Clark Stakes Field & Odds
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