Trainer Ciaron Maher admits there are a number of potential spring paths for Cliff’s Edge depending on how well the multiple Group winner returns to racing.
Cliff’s Edge, formerly trained by the now-disqualified Darren Weir, resumes for his first start since last spring, and first for his new stable, in Saturday’s Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and will have his regular rider John Allen aboard.
Allen has ridden Cliff’s Edge in six of his eight career wins and he will be the jockey’s only ride at the meeting in his first day back from a six-week break.
The Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) in October at Caulfield, a race he finished fifth in last year, could be among the spring targets for rising five-year-old Cliff’s Edge but Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, remains open-minded.
“We’ll just see how he kicks off,” Maher said.
“There’s a number of paths he can go. He could go towards the Toorak.
“Hopefully he’s going good enough for some weight-for-age races. We’ll just see.”
Maher expects Cliff’s Edge to improve on whatever he does first-up but has been happy with his build-up and believes the horse is still showing the class which has resulted in multiple Group wins.
“He’s had a really good base,” Maher said.
“He’s trained down there at the beach and he’s loving it. He’s in great order.
“He’s a big colt that has been off the scene for a while so he will no doubt improve out of his run, but he’s bright and well.”
Cliffs Edge finished second in an official barrier trial at St Arnaud earlier this month while more recently he had a jump-out at Caulfield on Tuesday as part of his Bletchingly build-up.
“It was just a very easy jump-out,” Maher said.
“It was just a gallop. He worked pretty casually the other week so I just wanted to put him in a jump-out but I didn’t have him ridden like he was in one. He just sat very quiet on him and it was just more to invigorate him a little bit.”
Three-year-old colt Sesar is the Bletchingly favourite at $1.85 ahead of Jungle Edge ($4.80) while Cliff’s Edge is the only other runner in the nine-horse field at single figure odds at $7.50.