Injury brings abrupt end to Canford Cliffs' career

Champion older miler's retirement kills hopes of a rematch after rout by Frankel at Goodwood

The rematch that everyone wanted, particularly those charged with marketing the inaugural Qipco British Champions fixture at Ascot in mid-October, is off. The top-class miler Canford Cliffs, who came off second best to Frankel in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last week, has been retired from racing on veterinary advice after it emerged that he picked up a leg injury in the much-hyped but, in the end, rather anticlimactic "Duel on the Downs".

Canford Cliffs went to the Sussex Stakes off a run of five Group One victories but was humbled by five lengths, hanging markedly left across the track in the final furlong as Frankel applied pressure and powered away. Afterwards, the four-year-old's rider, Richard Hughes, and trainer, Richard Hannon, were adamant that the runner-up had not at any point been travelling with his usual ease.

Their reading of the situation might have sounded like an excuse in defeat but is now shown to be perfectly justified. A scan has revealed incipient damage to Canford Cliffs' left-fore ankle and, although the colt is not lame, he cannot be risked in anger again.

"There is a bit of a shadow on the joint running into the pastern," Hannon reported yesterday, "and that could turn into something nasty, even a fracture. He's sound and I could very nearly go on training him but he's too great a horse to take chances with and we have taken the decision to stop before the problems exacerbate."

Canford Cliffs showed high-class form in 11 starts over three seasons. At two he routed the opposition in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and at three, once he had learnt to conserve his energy for the finish, he took the Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes before signing off with a defeat of Rip van Winkle in the Sussex Stakes.

This year he opened with an easy win in the Lockinge Stakes and then proved himself the year's top older miler as he produced his trademark late burst of speed to beat Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes. There will now be no decider between them, either, in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

The enforced early retirement of any outstanding horse is always a blow to the sport and Hannon is desperately disappointed to have to call time on one he considers the best he has handled in his 40 years with a licence.

"I knew it was not the real Canford Cliffs at Goodwood," he added, "and at least we now have a reason why he hung so badly. There is no way that Frankel would have given our horse the beating he did had ours been right and we'd been so looking forward to taking him on again."

That meeting would have taken place in the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (which Canford Cliffs also missed last year because of a virus) at Ascot on 15 October, a prize which now, again something of an anticlimax, seems as if it could turn into merely an exhibition run for Frankel.

Canford Cliffs, by some way the best by his reliable commercial sire Tagula, was a bargain buy who made good. He cost just £50,000 (back-pocket change in bloodstock terms) as a yearling, went on to earn £950,000 on the track and will start his second career next year in rarefied stallion company at Coolmore Stud in Co Tipperary. The Irish operation, through ownership partners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, bought a half-stake of undisclosed value in the handsome bay last year from his original owner, Robin Heffer, in whose orange silks he continued to race.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Al Kazeem (8.00 Newmarket) The form of the handicap he won in May could hardly have been better advertised. Open to obvious further progress.

Next best

Fluctuation (4.00 Brighton) First run for his new yard after being claimed at Southwell where, though running green and beaten, he produced an improved effort.

One to watch

Dimension (James Fanshawe) Caught in the last few strides over the quick seven furlongs at Goodwood. Would be an interesting prospect dropped back to six.

Where the money's going

Paul Hanagan is 11-4 favourite to be leading rider at tomorrow's Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot. The reigning champion jockey is captain of the GB team for the novelty international jockeys' event.

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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea