Canford Cliffs On Target for the "Duel On The Downs"
Canford Cliffs was in good form at Richard Hannon’s Herridge yard in Wiltshire yesterday morning and it is all systems go for the clash with unbeaten three-year-old Frankel in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood next week.
The world’s top two milers meet on Wednesday, July 27, the second day of Glorious Goodwood, in a clash described as the “Duel on the Downs”.
Hannon said: “It is going to be a hell of a race, no doubt about it, but remember that Canford Cliffs and Frankel are not the only horses in the race.
“Unfortunately, one of them will be beaten. I don’t know who is going to win. It will be very interesting to see what happens.
“Frankel is the best horse in the world and if Canford Cliffs beats him then he takes that position.
“If there are any weaknesses in Canford Cliffs, I haven’t found them. Once Richard (Hughes) had Canford Cliffs settled as a three-year-old, it all happened from there. He is probably at his peak now. He is a strong horse and going well.
“In a small field, you just wonder where the pace will come from but whatever Richard (Hughes) does in the race is OK with me - he is a top-class jockey. Richard knows the horse better than anybody else.
“Canford Cliffs was never a tearaway but you take a horse from being a two-year-old to a three-year-old and from six furlongs to a mile. You have taught him to do one thing as a two-year-old and then you have to teach him something else, wanting him to settle as a three-year-old.
“We taught him to go quick as a two-year-old and so, early on as a three-year-old, he thought he was doing everything right. Richard has done a hell of a job on him, teaching him to settle.
“The only thing that would worry me is that last year he did not like coming down the hill at Goodwood particularly well but he is a year older now and a more mature horse so I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Richard Hughes, Hannon’s son-in-law and stable jockey, has been very careful not to incur a suspension which would cause him to miss the ride next week.
He commented: “All my life I have looked for a horse like Canford Cliffs and I was not going to miss the ride on him - I won’t get another chance.
“I cannot wait for the Sussex Stakes. I am looking forward to it just as much as the race against Goldikova at Royal Ascot - we got that job done.
“Canford Cliffs is the best I have ever ridden - I have ridden some good horses in my career but the first time I sat on this lad, I had never ridden anything like him.
“I think Frankel is a brilliant three-year-old - no doubt. I don’t think the three-year-olds are brilliant as a whole but he is probably one of the best three-year-olds we have seen for a long time which is why he has stood out.
“The good thing is my lad is easy and I imagine with only a few runners there won’t be much pace at Goodwood which means Frankel will run free.
“I would not be surprised if Tom (Queally on Frankel) made the running with only four or so runners - if he drops in, we won’t go fast. The start is downhill as well.
“Frankel settled very well at Ascot when we were going a million up the hill - I was on Dubawi Gold, sitting second, and I could not have gone an inch faster, off the bridle. That is why Frankel settled so well at Ascot but, if he was going slow, then he would be keen. If we go slow, he will be free.
“Canford Cliffs looks better than ever. I think he is a little bit like Sea The Stars - he will just do what he has to do. He will go by whatever is in front of him. No matter what you follow, he will go by it - you feel he will go by anything. He travelled so easy at Royal Ascot.
“He won a maiden on soft ground - I think he would cope with that ground - most champions do.
“You would like to think that both horses are healthy on the day and there are no excuses - head to head at the furlong pole would be nice to see and then the best horse will win.”
Canford Cliffs is going for a QIPCO Sussex Stakes double, having won the Group One race last year when Hannon and Hughes combined to have nine winners each during Glorious Goodwood, a record number for a trainer and a jockey.
Hughes added: “I love the track at Goodwood but I doubt I can get nine again this year - the boss told me last year it should have been 10 - I was beat a head in a maiden.
“We have a few nice ones lined up but the domination of the two-year-old races last year will probably never happen again - I think we won them all but you never know.
“We like to keep a few nice maidens for Goodwood - if you send an ordinary horse, they are not going to win at Glorious Goodwood. It is good prize money at Goodwood and the owners love it.”.
Glorious Goodwood runs for five days from Tuesday, July 26 to Saturday, July 30 inclusive.
Richard Hannon, born in Lewes, East Sussex, on May 30, 1945, has been training since 1970 when he took over the licence on the retirement of his father Henry (Harry).
Originally, Hannon trained solely from stables at East Everleigh in Wiltshire but, due to the increase in the size of his string (around 230 in 2011), he also has a base at nearby Herridge, a stud farm when bought 20 years ago, where he lives.
His first winner came over hurdles at Chepstow on March 30, 1970, when Sir Nuilli was successful, while Ampney Prince provided his initial winner on the Flat in a Newbury maiden on April 17 the same year.
Hannon made rapid progress as a trainer. A first Pattern race victory came courtesy of Crespinall in the 1972 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom and the same filly went on to win the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood later that season - his first Goodwood triumph.
Classic success followed shortly afterwards, when Mon Fils caused a 50/1 shock in the 1973 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Don't Forgot Me (1987) and Tirol (1990) won the same Newmarket mile Classic for the yard, and both colts also triumphed in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
Hannon has made a particular reputation for his expertise with sprinters and two-year-olds, though his successes are by no means confined to those spheres.
Lyric Fantasy was champion two-year-old filly in 1992 when her wins included the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes against older opposition at York, while Lemon Souffle achieved the same honour in 1993.
His major Group One wins also include the Moyglare Stud Stakes with Lyric Fantasy, the Sussex Stakes with Reel Buddy (2003) and Canford Cliffs (2010), the Prix Royal-Oak (French St Leger) with Assessor (1992) as well as the Prix de l'Abbaye and the July Cup with Mr Brooks (1992). He has trained 32 winners at Royal Ascot and was the leading trainer at the meeting in 2010 with three victories and had the same amount of success there this year.
He has sent out at least 100 winners in 19 of the last 20 years (and is on the cusp for 2011), achieved with horses purchased from the yearling and breeze-up sales in conjunction with bloodstock agent Peter Doyle, although his owner-breeder clients also include The Queen.
In recent times. Paco Boy won three Group One races for Hannon, including the 2010 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, and got within a neck of the world's best miler Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot next time.
His current star racehorse is his best ever according to the trainer. Canford Cliffs, winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace Stakes and QIPCO Sussex Stakes last season as well as the JLT Lockinge Stakes (2011) at Newbury and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot this season, in which he defeated Goldikova. Another top-class colt in his yard is Dick Turpin, successful in the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in 2010.
At Goodwood, Hannon's record is outstanding and in 2010 he smashed the record for most wins during Glorious Goodwood with nine successes over the five days. He was champion trainer in 1992 and is the reigning champion trainer after taking the title again in 2010 with 210 successes and total prize money of £3,218,575. He leads the way again this year.
Hannon gained the Cartier & Daily Telegraph Award of Merit last year but was unable to be present at the emotional November awards’ ceremony due to having just undergone a successful heart bypass operation.
He is married to Jo and has six children - the triplets Richard jr (his assistant trainer), Henry and Lizzie (who is married to stable jockey Richard Hughes) - Fanny (who is married to trainer Sylvester Kirk), Claire and Julie.
QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES CONTENDER- CANFORD CLIFFS (IRE)
4 b c Tagula (IRE) - Mrs Marsh (Marju (IRE))
Canford Cliffs is without question one of the best milers in the world. The Tagula colt has impressively landed five Group One races at the distance since finishing less than two lengths third to the top-class Makfi in last season’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. After that Classic reversal, Canford Cliffs sluiced home by three lengths in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh and gained revenge on his stable companion Dick Turpin, who had previously bested him in the Greenham Stakes and the 2000 Guineas, when storming to success in the 2010 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The colt’s finest moment of last year came at Glorious Goodwood in July. Pitched into all-aged company for the first time, Canford Cliffs used his trademark acceleration to pounce late and win the Sussex Stakes by a cheeky and comfortable neck from Rip Van Winkle, who had landed the prize the previous year. An unsatisfactory scope on the eve of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in September meant that the Hannon-trained star did not race again that year. The colt, who had won two from three starts as a juvenile in 2009, including a breathtaking six-length triumph in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, understandably attracted the attentions of Coolmore and the Irish-based breeding operation struck a deal that saw stakeholders Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith replace Susan Roy and Lydia Instance as partners to the existing Heffer Syndicate. Originally purchased for 46,000 euros as a foal at Goffs in November, 2007, Canford Cliffs was subsequently bought by Peter Doyle for £50,000 at the 2008 Doncaster St Leger Yearling Sale. Susan Roy, wife of BHA chairman Paul Roy, purchased a half-share in the colt the night before his Coventry Stakes win, with Lydia Instance then taking half of that share. The deal with Tabor and Smith will see the colt retire to Coolmore at the end of this season to take up stallion duties. Canford Cliffs made an impressive start to the 2011 campaign when winning the Group One JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 14. Ridden as ever by Richard Hughes, the 4/5 favourite quickened clear inside the final furlong and was driven out for a length and a quarter win from the race-fit Italian Group Two winner, Worthadd. The colt then headed to Royal Ascot for a showdown with the great mare Goldikova (who carried 2lb ow) in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes. Canford Cliffs delivered his brilliant late burst of speed to pass the 13-time Group/Grade One winner inside the final furlong for a superb length triumph. The Tagula colt is rated the joint third-best horse in the world this year in the latest World Thoroughbred Rankings standings on 127 alongside Rewilding.
Race Record: Starts: 10; Wins: 7; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £887,224
Heffer Syndicate, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith
Coolmore stakeholders, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, bought into Canford Cliffs afer the colt landed the Group One Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in July 2010. The pair, who often own horses in partnership with Sue Magnier, such as this year’s Derby hero Pour Moi, bought out Lydia Instance and Susan Roy, the wife of BHA Chairman Paul Roy. The Coolmore duo own the colt in partnership with the Heffer Syndicate, which has part-owned the colt since his arrival at Richard Hannon’s yard. Robin Heffer and his five children form the Heffer Syndicate. Heffer founded the RWM Food Group in 1968 and it is now one of Europe's top food processors, dedicated to beef and lamb production in the heart of the West Country. Heffer has a good two-year-old who runs in his name, Harbour Watch, who is unbeaten in two runs. Michael Tabor's silks are blue with orange disc, blue and orange striped sleeves and cap. They first gained prominence aboard the Neville Callaghan-trained hurdler Royal Derbi, winner of the 1993 Irish Champion Hurdle and have since been carried to Group/Grade One success in Flat races around the globe. London-born and Monaco-based Tabor founded the Arthur Prince bookmaking firm and sold it for £28 million in 1995. That same year, Thunder Gulch won the 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in his colours and at around that time he became a partner in many of the Coolmore horses. He spends a lot of his time in Barbados and was valued at £480 million in the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List. The best horses to carry his colours also include Montjeu, High Chaparral, Hurricane Run, Entrepreneur, Desert King, Johannesburg, Stravinsky, Starspangledbanner, Lillie Langry, Peeping Fawn and 2007 Belmont Stakes heroine Rags To Riches. Misty For Me wore Tabor’s colours when successful in this season’s Irish 1,000 Guineas and Pretty Polly Stakes. Derrick Smith is a former Ladbrokes trading director based in Barbados. He is also an investor in Barchester Healthcare and has made huge profits from currency trading. In 2011, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated his wealth at £550 million. In 2004, he became a Coolmore investor and his purple silks with white seams, purple and white striped sleeves and purple cap have become a common sight atop such horses as Fame And Glory, Simply Perfect, Astronomer Royal, Mastercraftsman and the 2010 Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes winner Cape Blanco. The latest star to run in Smith’s colours is Australian import So You Think, a five-time Group One winner Down Under who has won both his starts in Ireland and saw off Workforce to win the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown recently. He has enjoyed further Group One glory this term with Treasure Beach in the Irish Derby.
Previous Sussex Stakes wins: 1998 Among Men (Tabor with Sue Magnier) 2000 Giant’s Causeway (Tabor with Sue Magnier); 2009 Rip Van Winkle (Smith & Tabor with Sue Magnier); 2010 Canford Cliffs (Heffer Syndicate).
Richard Hughes was born in Ireland on January 11, 1973, and served his apprenticeship with his father Dessie, a former top-class National Hunt rider who trains in Co Kildare and won the 2004 and 2005 Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham with Hardy Eustace. He had his first ride at Naas on March 19, 1988, when finishing 10th of 15 and enjoyed his first success on Viking Melody at Roscommon that August. He moved to Britain in 1994. He was appointed as Prince Khalid Abdulla’s retained jockey in 2001 but that association came to an end at the end of 2007. He rides regularly for Richard Hannon, to whose daughter Lizzie he is married. The 5ft 9in Hughes has, like his father, also ridden winners over jumps but concentrates on the Flat. Oasis Dream carried Hughes to a long-awaited first British Group One win in the 2003 July Cup and the same colt gave him success in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes later that season. Hughes was also on board Indian Ink when the filly won the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2007. He enjoyed a profitable association with the Hannon-trained Paco Boy, winning two Group One races, the 2009 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and the 2010 Lockinge Stakes, while Dick Turpin landed the Group One Prix Jean Prat that year under Hughes. He has forged a formidable partnership with the star miler Canford Cliffs, riding the colt to Group One wins in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes and Sussex Stakes in 2010, as well as this year’s Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes. He considers the horse the best he has ridden. Other Group One wins include the 2004 French 2,000 Guineas on American Post, the 2003 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) on Nebraska Tornado, the 1996 Derby Ialiano (Italian Derby) on Bahamian Knight, the 1996 Premio Vittorio di Capua on Mistle Cat, the 2001Prix d’Ispahan on Observatory and the 2002 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) on Zenda. Hughes came closest to being champion jockey in 2010 when he was runner-up to Paul Hanagan after a long and hard-fought battle that went right to the wire.
Previous Sussex Stakes winners: 2010 Canford Cliffs.
Qipco Sussex Stakes (Group 1)
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