As a breeder-owner, few horses have provided owners with as much joy as the big-hearted, front-running galloper Cliff’s Edge, especially when he has become Australia’s latest equine millionaire.
Having battled his way to a half-length win over Prized Icon in Saturday’s Group 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile over 1600m at Moonee Valley, the success was the fourth now at stakes level, with Cliff’s Edge advancing his record to 8 wins and 4 seconds from 21 starts with earnings of $1,033,960.
The son of Blue Gum Farm’s former shuttler, Canford Cliffs, ‘Ciffy’ has become a crowd favourite always putting 100% into each and every run and for brothers, Racing photographers, part owners and breeder, Ross and Brett Holburt, they certainly love their job when they are photographing their favourite horse in the winner’s circle.
The four-year-old entire will now be given his chance for Group 1 glory as indicated by trainer Darren Weir when he backs up in next week’s $1 million Group 1 Kennedy Mile at Flemington.
“He’d be a great horse to own because he never runs badly. He makes his own luck up on the speed and just controls the race,” Weir said. “He is a tough bugger, having had a fetlock chip removed already, but it doesn’t stop him, he just loves racing.”
Cliffs Edge was a $60,000 purchase by Darren Weir Racing / John Foote Bloodstock from session two of the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from Leanne Smith’s Bucklee Farm draft.
Brett Holburt hails the brilliant galloper who he refers to as “tough as nails”. “He has won four at Caulfield, won at Sandown, loves the Valley, and goes pretty well at Flemington too, so he can happily run anywhere, he’s just brilliant. It’s a lifelong ambition to breed a galloper of this class.”
Cliff’s Edge is a son of Canford Cliffs out of the Snaadee mare and multiple city winner, Simulation, from the family of French Group 1 winner and USA horse of the year All Along.
We were so sorry to lose his dam Simulation who died in November 2016 after a bad case of colic after foaling her Danerich colt, who is now a two-year-old. Named Simulated he has just come back into work, and he’s with Darren Weir too. He is a different type, big and rangy, he is just starting to grow into himself now. He has shown a bit in his jump outs so we are always hopeful, as all of her foals have been winners so far,” Brett said.
Simulation also produced Brom’s Girl, a city winning two-year-old and the speedy Delago’s Lad who was stakes-placed in the Listed VRC Maribyrnong Trial Stakes.
The Holburt brothers are a loyal supporter of the Victorian breeding industry, has used Blue Gum Farm and Swettenham Stud sires for many years.
“Unfortunately, Canford Cliffs is now standing in South Africa (after five seasons shuttling to Blue Gum Farm), but Ross has bought lifetime breeding rights to Trust in A Gust.”
“We keep all our mares at Bucklee Farm with Leeanne Smith at Glenrowan, and we are thrilled for her too and the publicity she is receiving. She loves them all like their own, she is such a hard worker and we are lucky to have had horses with Leeanne now for almost twenty years. We started when Simulation’s was spelling, and I still have her first foal, who is now 16 years old. It is a wonderful long and trusted association.”
Brett Holburt is excited to be back in the breeding game this year with two new maiden mares that will both be visiting Swettenham Stud’s Trust In A Gust.
“One is one is a half to Cliff’s Edge, called Simbelation by Bel Esprit. We bred and raced her down here, but she wasn’t quite city grade so we sold her on and she went on to win three in Alice Springs. We offered to buy her back, so we could keep the bloodline going and she has just tested positive in foal to Trust In A Gust which is exciting,” Brett said.
Their other mare is by Magnus, called Anuddawinna, who Ross bought her as a weanling to pinhook, was retained and will also head to Swettenham this season.
Incredibly Brett will be photographing at Wycheproof on Saturday, a decision he made some time ago.
“It does seem crazy that I won’t be there on Derby day, but I get so nervous before he races it will be nice to watch it in the bush. However, if Cliff is running at the front in his usual brilliant style, you will be sure to hear me shouting him home at Flemington.”