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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us