Click above to watch Canford Cliffs winning the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1)
(Image : Racing Post - Footage : Racing UK)
QUEEN ANNE STAKES (Group 1)
Royal Ascot, 1600m
14 June 2011
Yesterday’s G1 Queen Anne Stakes was billed as a two- horse race and that’s how it turned out, with the Heffer Syndicate, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Canford Cliffs (Ire) (Tagula) prevailing ahead of Goldikova (Ire) (Anabaa) in a thrilling renewal.
Moving with his customary gusto in rear early as Goldikova followed the pace cut out by her pacemaker Flash Dance (Ire) (Zamindar) and the aggressively ridden Cape Blanco (Ire) (Galileo), Canford Cliffs was hot on her heels as she moved to take over inside the final quarter. With Olivier Peslier - who rode two pounds overweight - hard at work to shake off his attentions passing the furlong pole, the writing was on the wall for the supermare, and Canford Cliffs was firmly on top at the line as Goldikova kept putting up her typical game effort.
“Olivier rode a terrific cat-and- mouse race, as I wasn’t going to kick until he did, and the quickest part of the race was the final two furlongs,” commented jockey Richard Hughes. “Ideally, I wanted to be right behind her and, luckily, I ended up in her slipstream. I have been confident about this horse since the first day I sat on him. He is amazing.” Trainer Richard Hannon added, “Goldikova is obviously a brilliant mare, but he’s a very good horse, so we had to take her on. It was the perfect race with two good pacemakers, and he has a real cruising speed and can quicken. He’s a very special horse to us - these ones don’t come along every day.” That trainer’s son and assistant Richard Hannon Jr. added, “He is probably the horse of a lifetime, and while Goldikova is becoming a legend already, maybe he is going the same way. He seems near unbeatable at a mile. My view is if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, but we’ll discuss plans with the owners. The G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood July 27 is there and later on there is the Breeders’ Cup, Japan and Hong Kong, so we’ll pick our way.”
Goldikova’s trainer Freddy Head was magnanimous in defeat after witnessing the crowd’s applause on her return to the runner’s-up spot. “I am very happy with her, as she has run a great race, but there is nothing I can say other than she was beaten by a better horse on the day,” Head said. “He had a lovely run and followed us through and, as I’ve said before, this mile is tough, and is maybe a bit too far for her. These people know their horses and are very fond of champions, so it was a thrill to see their reaction to her afterwards. I think she’s run a top race and is as good as ever, so we will follow the same path, and head to Deauville in August, and then try and win a fourth Breeders’ Cup Mile.”
Bred in Ireland, Canford Cliffs is a great-grandson of the U.S. based stallion Stop the Music, and hails from an American female family as well. His third dam Triple Tipple (Raise a Cup) began her racing career in Europe before returning home to secure the GII Wilshire Handicap and GIII Palomar Handicap, and also was runner-up Sabin in the GI Gamely Handicap for trainer Richard Cross. Canford Cliffs, in whom an interest was sold last season to Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, has a 2-year-old half-brother by Holy Roman Emperor (Ire) named Mayo Lad (Ire). That bay colt, sold for 100,000gns to Peter Doyle Bloodstock as a yearling at Tattersalls October, has joined his accomplished brother with trainer Richard Hannon. Their dam Mrs Marsh produced an Excellent Art (GB) colt last February.
QUEEN ANNE STAKES (Gr1)
CANFORD CLIFFS (IRE)
RIO DE LA PLATA (USA)
Saeed bin Suroor
ANSOM NOTE (GB)
CAPE BLANCO (IRE)
FLASH DANCE (IRE)
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News