Hannon confident miler Cliffs will hit new highs

This season's standards for performance, anticipation, excitement and stupefaction were certainly set by Frankel on the Rowley Mile 10 days ago. And although the last is unlikely to be surpassed and the first may not be, it would be a poor campaign if there was going to be little more to stimulate the neck hairs.

The next buzz on the agenda is the reappearance in four days' time of a horse who may, further down the line, prove one of the chief obstacles on Frankel's route to the pantheon. So far in his career the 2,000 Guineas winner has disposed only of his contemporaries and, though his surreal Classic performance may on its own be enough to guarantee the elite place in the ratings that he has already achieved in the memory, the perceived wisdom is that to achieve true immortality he must face down different generations.

Chief among those lying in wait for him in the mile division are the peerless French six-year-old Goldikova and the four-year-old Canford Cliffs, one of the 11 acceptors named yesterday for the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Canford Cliffs is the highest-ranked of last year's three-year-old milers still around (and, arguably, the best of them anyway) and, with Richard Hannon as his trainer, is in the care of a man who will not fight shy of a showdown. Though Hannon has already admitted that he would be loath to take Frankel on again with his Guineas runner-up Dubawi Gold, he regards the more mature Canford Cliffs as a whole different kettle of fish.

The powerful son of Tagula is already three times a top-level winner, twice against his contemporaries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes and then when he signed off last year by beating the high-class four-year-old Rip Van Winkle in the Sussex Stakes. "He has done exceptionally well from three to four," said Hannon yesterday, "and he's had a couple of racecourse gallops, so he'll be straight enough for Saturday. He will, obviously, improve for the run, but he's done plenty of work and is fit enough and ready to roll."

Canford Cliffs, in whom the Coolmore partners acquired a stake last year, has been installed the 4-5 favourite to take the first older-horse Group One of the domestic season, with his stablemate and old rival Dick Turpin, match-fit after winning at Sandown last month, second choice at around 4-1. It will be the fourth clash in public for the pair, with the score actually 2-1 in the supposed second string's favour, his wins gained early last season before Canford Cliffs came to his full powers.

"I'd rather keep them apart for now," said Hannon, who won the Lockinge 12 months ago with Paco Boy, "but Dick Turpin's owner quite justifiably makes the point that his has met Canford Cliffs three times and come out on top twice. We're just lucky enough to have two of the best milers in Europe."

Next stop for Canford Cliffs after Newbury, where he will be the choice of stable jockey Richard Hughes, on the superstar trail will be a tilt at Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the same afternoon that Frankel will contest the St James's Palace Stakes. "She is brilliant," added Hannon, "but perhaps now may be the time when she is starting to feel she should be looking for a husband."

Turf Account

* Chris McGrath's Nap

Piano (4.20 Yarmouth)

Was progressive last year and now back against her own sex after an eye-catching effort last time, when she finished well after being set a lot to do.

* Next best

Mashatu (3.20 Yarmouth)

Pushed a race-fit rival all the way over today's course on his seasonal debut two weeks ago and should not be disadvantaged by the drop back in distance.

* One to watch

Scopey, long-striding King Of Eden (Eric Alston), who missed the cut for Saturday's Victoria Cup at Ascot, is rocketing up the ratings but is still one to have onside.

* Where the money's going

Totesport make Markab and Regal Parade their 5-1 joint favourites for tomorrow's feature sprint at York, the Duke of York Stakes.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: MS Dynamics AX Developer (SSRS/ SSAS) - global business

£425 per day: Ashdown Group: A small business with an established global offer...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas