Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
He was odds-on favourite and won accordingly, the Darren Weir-trained Cliff’s Edge far too dominant for his rivals at The Valley on Friday night saluting in the Alister Clark Stakes 2018 with ease.
The Canford Cliffs colt was down in grade after the midfield seventh to Grunt at Flemington a fortnight ago in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and relished both the easier company and step up in distance for the Group 2 $200,000 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m).
The punters came for Cliff’s Edge in a big way as he jumped odds-on at $1.70 to return to winning form after saluting first up in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) back in early February.
Continuing his excellent record over the distance, the up-and-comer returned to the same track and distance he finished second behind Aloisia at in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last Cox Plate Day.
Again proving his ability on the tight turns at Moonee Valley, Cliff’s Edge was given a gun run by heavyweight hoop Jamie Mott, replacing the suspended John Allen in the saddle, who had him switched off in front leading the field around.
“Jamie has ridden for me for years,” Weir said post-win.
“He is a great jockey and it’s great to be able to put him on a good horse.”
Comfortable in the lead, Cliff’s Edge held his position with an excellent all-the-way win after kicking well clear of the chasers on the turn for home.
The only foreseeable danger was the Peter Gelagotis-trained Pierro colt Levendi ($7.50), after atonement following his last in the Australian Guineas.
It was a much improved effort from the Carbine Club Stakes winner, but he still was no match and finished one and a quarter lengths second to Cliff’s Edge on the line.
“He seems to really enjoy bowling along,” Moss said of Cliff’s Edge.
“We got down to the half mile and it was never in doubt.”
In third rounding out this autumn’s Alister Clark Stakes trifecta having made up plenty of ground in an eye-catching late run was the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Teofilo colt Belfast ($13) coming off a fourth in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m).
He finished two lengths off the winner and two and three-quarter lengths ahead of the disappointing Astoria ($5) who faded in the closing stages to finish off the First Four.
The next-up options for Cliff’s Edge are now wide open, Weir yet to decide whether to head to Sydney for a possible shot at the Group 1 $600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) Saturday week on Golden Slipper Day or even the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 7.
“I don’t know,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“It’s a good problem to have.”
All-in Rosehill Guineas 2018 betting at Ladbrokes.com.au lists Cliff’s Edge as the $9 third favourite following David Payne’s VRC Derby winner Ace High ($3) and the Chris Waller-trained So You Think colt D’Argento ($4).
He is rougher in futures Australian Derby betting meanwhile at $26.
To get behind Cliff’s Edge next race at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
2018 Alister Clark Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Moonee Valley Race 7 – 16/03/2018
|1||1||CLIFF’S EDGE||Darren Weir||Jamie Mott||–||4||57kg||$1.70F|
|2||3||LEVENDI||Peter Gelagotis||Mark Zahra||1.25L||3||57kg||$7.50|
|3||6||BELFAST||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Dwayne Dunn||2L||1||57kg||$13|
|4||2||ASTORIA||James Cummings||Craig Williams||4.75L||6||57kg||$5|
|5||5||PISSARO||Robbie Laing||Dean Yendall||8.5L||2||57kg||$81|
|6||7||WHOOMPH||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||11L||5||57kg||$51|
|7||9||CASTLETON||Mick Price||Luke Nolen||13.25L||7||57kg||$61|
|8||11||ARKAMUN||Tony McEvoy||Michael Dee||14L||10||57kg||$201|
|9||10||NORTH AFRIKA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Rhys McLeod||14.1L||9||57kg||$81|
|10||12||BEMBOKA QUEEN||Heath Conners||Jye McNeil||14.2L||11||55kg||$151|
|11||8||THINK POSITIVE||John & Chris Ledger||Luke Currie||21.95L||8||57kg||$21|
|–||4||SALSAMOR (NZ)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||–||0||–||–|
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