Luck of the Irish for Cliff's Edge in Ladbrokes Classic

Ben Dorries - Saturday October 21

Irishman John Allen only had one ride at Caulfield but he made it count as Cliff's Edge zoomed into Victoria Derby favouritism with an all-the-way win in the Group III Ladbrokes Classic.

John Allen gave nothing else a chance as he led them a merry dance on Cliff's Edge in the Group III Ladbrokes Classic Photo: Darryl Sherer

Trainer Darren Weir is yet to commit to a Derby start for Cliff's Edge but said he was likely to have a "throw at the stumps" after the dominant 2¾ length win in the Ladbrokes Classic (2000m).

Bookmakers immediately wound his Derby price into $6, while sixth-placed Ladbrokes Classic runner Tavistock Abbey drifted to $17 in Derby markets after a disappointing effort where he finished more than eight lengths from the winner.

It was a race where Allen gave nothing else a chance as led them a merry dance on Cliff's Edge ($3.80 fav) easily holding off Tangled ($5) with Main Stage ($4) beaten five lengths in third place.

There was a bitter post-script for the jockey who was suspended for 11 meetings for careless riding at the 1500m mark but he will be free to resume riding before the Victoria Derby.

There were plenty of celebrations in the Weir camp, although a bit of head-scratching about whether to go to the Derby.

"I don't really know to be honest, I don't know what to do," Weir said.

"I suppose you've got to have a throw at the stumps the way he went today.

"The (last) run definitely toughened him up and Johnny (Allen) went at a good strong tempo last start.

"Getting back to Caulfield where he dictated and was able to kick on the corner, it was always going to be a differently run race."

There weren't many hard luck stories in the beaten brigade with Mark Zahra, on Main Stage, saying the gelding was just fair.

"He's gone OK I would have liked him to run third a bit clearer," Zahra said.

Luke Currie, who rode Tavistock Abbey, wasn't thrilled with the way the rising stayer finished the race.

"He got a prat at the start so he got back where I didn't want to be but he was only even late," Currie said.

If Cliff's Edge goes to the Derby, Allen is sure he will be competitive although he wishes it was run on the tighter Caulfield track.

"Hopefully (he can keep improving), we'd love it if the Derby was around here and not Flemington," Allen said.

"He's improved every start, gone from strength to strength, so whatever he does next, he'll be a nice colt."

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