Canford Cliffs can cast Frankel into shadows, insists Hannon

Popular beat combos and prizes for wearing clothes may have their place on the modern racecourse but, happily, the prospect of seeing a good horse is still at the heart of it all. More than 20,000, for instance, the biggest crowd in half a century, turned up at Doomben, Brisbane, on Saturday to see Australian wonder-mare Black Caviar take her unbeaten sequence to 13. And in these parts, when and if the clash between Canford Cliffs and Frankel happens, it will likewise keep the turnstiles clicking. "I expect," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to the latter's owner Khalid Abdullah, "that one or two might turn up to watch."

Neither camp – Canford Cliffs is part-owned by another of the sport's highest rollers, the Coolmore partnership – is likely to duck the showdown if it is on their horse's logical progression through the season. Each colt has proved his brilliance in the best company at a mile – three-year-old Frankel in the 2,000 Guineas earlier in the month, four-year-old Canford Cliffs in the Lockinge Stakes two days ago – but the trainers of both, respectively Henry Cecil and Richard Hannon, have indicated that a step up to ten furlongs in due course has been pencilled in.

Canford Cliffs' running style, to shadow and pounce, is in contrast to Frankel's trailblazing speed and the deployment of each on the same stretch of turf, over whatever distance, would be some draw.

If the pair are to meet over a mile, then Wednesday 27 July, when the Sussex Stakes is run at Goodwood, is the day to book off work, and if over a mile and a quarter, it's Wednesday 17 August, for the Juddmonte International at York.

"Now we've taught ours to settle," said Hannon, with characteristic fight in his talk, "I wouldn't be afraid of moving up. But we'll happily take Frankel, or any other horse, on at eight or ten furlongs. Anywhere, any time. They can certainly run, but they can't hide. Bring 'em on."

Both horses are scheduled to turn up on the same day at Royal Ascot next month, though not in the same contest; at elite levels the generations do not mix until later. But still, get Tuesday 14 June in the diary. "Canford Cliffs is impressive," acknowledged Grimthorpe, "but these things happen if they happen. We'll have to see where we are after Frankel runs at Ascot and take it from there, and presumably it will be the same for them."

Indeed. Canford Cliffs' first assignment will be to avenge the defeat 12 months ago in the Queen Anne Stakes of his erstwhile stablemate Paco Boy at the hands of another wonder mare, Goldikova, with his rider Richard Hughes confident. "I loved Paco," he said, "but Canford Cliffs is a hell of a horse. He was a bit rusty on Saturday but with that run behind him, he'll put the French mare in her place."

In truth, Frankel's task against his contemporaries in the St James's Palace Stakes was not looking hard, but may now be even easier after Wootton Bassett lost his unbeaten record at Longchamp yesterday as 2-1 favourite for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, the French version of the 2,000 Guineas.

The Richard Fahey-trained colt missed his date against Frankel on the Rowley Mile because of a setback but after being diverted to Paris was unable to overcome a combination of an unfavourably wide draw and his own freshness.

Rider Paul Hanagan kicked on from the start and was able to cross to the running rail ahead of his rivals but the move cost his mount energy and, after running keenly, he was swamped in the closing stages and finished fifth. The winner, Tin Horse – who had finished second when Wootton Bassett won the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on the same track last year but had the plum one draw yesterday – finished strongly to score by two lengths from Havane Smoker.

"We decided to lead after seeing the filly race earlier, when the first four were the same throughout," said Fahey. "It didn't come off, but we were always going to be against it from that draw. We'll get home and make sure he's OK before making any plans."

Tin Horse, a first Classic win for trainer Didier Guillemin, carries colours better known at Auteuil than Longchamp, those of the Marquesa de Moratalla. And a crack at Frankel at Royal Ascot is now in the grey's appointment book.

Wootton Bassett still did best of the raiders; Imperial Rome, Midsummer Fair and Hung Parliament came in with the ruck.

The Poule d'Essai des Pouliches also stayed at home with the André Fabre-trained 6-4 favourite Golden Lilac an impressive three-length winner from trailblazing outsider Glorious Sight and Ballydoyle's Wild Wind.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Soldiers Point (5.10 Wolverhampton) Changed stables since last term and the step up in trip – he is stoutly-bred on his dam's side – may enable him to show himself on a fair mark for his handicap debut.

Next best

Sea Odyssey (6.40 Leicester)

Showed plenty of dash on his debut and built on that when finding only one too good round tricky Chester.

One to watch

Sohcahtoa (Robert Mills) is easing down the ratings and produced a more than satisfactory performance on his seasonal debut at Ascot over a trip shorter than ideal and without his usual blinkers.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
Wayne Rooney talks to the media during a press conference
Arts and Entertainment
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

MI Analyst and SQL Developer (SQL, SSAS, SSRS)

£28000 - £32500 Per Annum + 28 days holiday, pension, discounts and more: Clea...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Reception Teachers needed for September 2014

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Re...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?