Hannon’s verdict on Canford Cliffs’ clash with Frankel

Richard Hannon Jnr (left) and Richard Hannon senior in the winner's enclosure after Richard Hughes and Canford Cliffs won the Sussex Stakes during day two of Glorious Goodwood 2010
Richard Hannon Jnr (left) and Richard Hannon senior in the winner's enclosure after Richard Hughes and Canford Cliffs won the Sussex Stakes during day two of Glorious Goodwood 2010

CONNECTIONS of Canford Cliffs believe a clash with Frankel could be just what he needs.

The star performers are due to go head to head in less than a fortnight in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes on the second day of Glorious Goodwood.

Following their respective victories at Royal Ascot, opinion in racing is split over which horse has the edge.

Both parties were represented at a pre-Glorious event at Goodwood motor-racing circuit on Monday and Richard Hannon junior, who trains Canford Cliffs, winner of the race last year, summed up the feelings of many when he said: “I don’t remember a race I’ve looked forward to so much.

“Frankel is a very, very good horse and worthy of utmost respect ... if you want to see who the best in the world is be at Goodwood on Wednesday (July 27).

“In certain races, Frankel has gone off a little bit quick but they still haven’t beaten him yet, which would be my worry.

“Canford Cliffs is pretty fit – he has had his two runs – and we will just keep him ticking over.

“He is in great form and looks superb. He is a very easy and straightforward horse – there are not really any complications with him and he shows that in his races. He travels – we taught him to settle – which sets him up to take on a horse that goes on. You just sit him in behind and it makes the job pretty easy.

“Canford Cliffs is very easy in his work – he just goes upside. He works with Angel’s Pursuit and has been doing a fair bit with Dick Turpin recently. He just does it on the bridle. He doesn’t need to go four lengths clear.

“I imagine we’ll sit mid-division in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, keeping an eye on where Frankel is and just follow him. We don’t get too involved in the riding, and will let Hughesie (Richard Hughes) do what he wants. Our job is to get the horse there in one piece and let Hughesie do the rest.

“I think it’s a massive advantage that our horse has been around Goodwood before.

“Canford Cliffs has filled out a lot and is like a proper man. Last year there were a few immaturities.

“Now he is very relaxed. That is our next point – is he going to become too relaxed? He is getting very lazy. He has seen it all before. He loves his routine but we change it about a little bit and that is why Goodwood and taking on a fresh horse may be a good thing.”

Richard Hannon senior says he may run stablemate Dick Turpin in the race. “If the ground was wet he could well turn up,” said Hannon. “We won’t make the mistake of running him on fast ground again.”

Tickets for Glorious continue to sell well. Go to www.goodwood.co.uk for availability. Full festival preview - and win tickets to the Richmond Enclosure - in the Observer next week.