Photographer cum Victorian breeder Ross Holburt was in the action at Caulfield on Saturday.
He not only took shots of race 2 winner Cliff’s Edge, he could also lay claim to being the breeder of the three-year-old and a part-owner to boot!
Trainer Darren Weir said the Canford Cliffs colt was a relaxed and casual type providing difficulties in getting him fit.
“Backing him up (from Flemington the week before) was the secret…This preparation he’s probably looked a bit disappointing on face value, but he has become very casual, not wanting to work hard at home,” Weir said.
Luckily, Cliff’s Edge certainly brings his game face to the races. Ridden by John Allen, he followed the leader before gaining a split in the straight to record a three-quarter-length win.
Both Weir and breeder/part-owner Holburt believe the best is still ahead of him.
“He is just such a relaxed fella, possibly the only three-year-old going around with no gear on him,” Holburt said.
“It’s important to keep his confidence up and pick the right race. As he is a November foal, there is no hurry and there are bigger and better things ahead of him next year
“I have been around horse racing long enough, and a win in the bush is pretty good, but getting one of these good ones going during the spring is much better..as a breeder it’s a real thrill.”
Cliff’s Edge will be aimed at some good races over the carnival, including the VRC Carbine Club Stakes and Sandown Guineas races Weir won with Mahuta in 2015.
“He’s not unlike Mahuta with a similar sort of racing style, very tough and tries hard,” Weir said.
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.
“Unfortunately, Canford Cliffs is now standing in South Africa (after five seasons shuttling to Blue Gum Farm), and we lost his dam, Simulation, last year to a bad case of colic after foaling a Danerich colt.”
Holburt, a loyal supporter of the Victorian breeding industry, has used Blue Gum Farm and Swettenham Stud sires for many years.
Last year he bought lifetime breeding rights to Trust in A Gust and now has a lovely ‘Trust’ foal out of his mare Miss Josephine on the ground at Greta West’s Bucklee Farm.
“I have kept my horses at Bucklee Farm for over fifteen years and Leanne (Smith) does a great job.
“They did a brilliant job prepping Cliff’s Edge (for the Inglis Premier Sale) and sold him for $60,000 to his trainer Darren Weir.” (Ross bought back a share to maintain part-ownership)
Bucklee Farm graduates have had a great run in recent weeks. Winners have included farm-bred siblings Sunday Escape (Hard Spun) & Weekend Escape (Helmet) as well as the Allan Price bred Money Maher in Perth.