Jockey John Allen would have preferred a better barrier draw for Australian Guineas favourite Cliff’s Edge but has confidence he is on the right horse to overcome it.
Allen is the only jockey to have won on Cliff’s Edge who has notched five wins from his 12 career starts.
Allen has been aboard the colt in eight of his races and only finished outside the top two once.
He was forced to sit out Cliff’s Edge’s Guineas lead-up in the C S Hayes Stakes last Saturday week when the colt finished second under Brad Rawiller, but the Irishman is back aboard in Saturday’s $1 million Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.
Cliff’s Edge has barrier 16 in the capacity field of 16 plus two emergencies and will jump from the second outside gate if the first emergency doesn’t gain a start.
“I was disappointed naturally (with the draw) but he’s the kind of horse that it won’t be as big a disadvantage to him as it would be to other horses,” Allen said.
“He’s got good tactical gate speed and there doesn’t look to be a huge amount of pace on paper.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to cross and get a soft enough run.”
Allen said Cliff’s Edge had always shown ability but had continued to get better with racing and had come back bigger and stronger again this campaign.
Cliff’s Edge won the Caulfield Classic (2000m) last spring and has won the Manfred Stakes (1200m) first-up at Caulfield this preparation before his second to Guineas second favourite Grunt after a tough run last start.
“It was unfortunate I couldn’t ride him because of suspension last start but I couldn’t have been happier with his run,” Allen said.
“He was caught wide but that’s just the way the race materialised.
“He gave three-and-a-half kilos to the winner and three kilos to the third horse (Muraaqeb) and he’s going to meet them better at the weights on Saturday.
“He’s drawn a bad gate again but if he can cross and get a bit softer run hopefully he should be hard to beat.
“It’s a very good race and a very deep race but I’m happy enough to be on him and wouldn’t swap him for anything else.”
Cliff’s Edge is one of two runners in the Guineas for Victoria’s premier trainer Darren Weir with Rawiller to ride stablemate Peaceful State.