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Canford Cliffs shows he’s got star quality

14 May 2011

The best four-year-old miler in Britain burst on to the QIPCO British Champions scene at Newbury today and showed that he will give Frankel something to think about if they clash later in the season

Canford defeats Worthadd in front of Newbury’s magnificent grandstand.  Image courtesy of racingfotos.com

Canford Cliffs made a power-packed debut in the QIPCO British Champions Series when winning the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury this afternoon.  Last year’s star British miler pounced on the long time leader Worthadd and surged clear in the final run to the winning line to land the second race in the mile division.  

Worthadd, a rare Italian raider, was a clear second with the ever reliable Premio Loco in third. Canford Cliff’s stable companion, Dick Turpin, found the ground too fast and could only manage fourth place.

The JLT Lockinge Stakes is for four-year-olds and up in contrast to first race in the mile division, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, which is for three-year-olds only.  By winning impressively, Canford Cliffs has set down a clear marker to the brilliant QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner, Frankel – ‘I’ll be ready and waiting for you later in the season!’

Before then, Canford Cliffs is likely to contest the third QIPCO British Champions Series mile race – also for four-year-olds and up – the Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot, Tuesday 14 June.  There he may well run into the French-trained superstar, Goldikova – what a race that promises to be!

Less than an hour and a half later, Frankel is set to run in the fourth mile race, the St James’s Palace Stakes for three-year-olds.  ‘Just how far will he win by?’ is the question many people are already asking! 

After that the generations clash in the fifth mile race, the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Godowood on 27 July – that could be the first Frankel vs Canford Cliffs showdown!

Today’s victory has put trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes at the top of the early leaderboards for the Jockey and Trainer of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Four trainers and jockeys are tied with one winner apiece, but Dubawi Gold’s second place in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas gives the Hannon-Hughes partnership a narrow edge. 

To listen to Richard Hughes’s interview after the race, click here

To listen to Richard Hannon’s interview after the race, click here