Strong Suit's success only underlines weak point in Canford case

 

Goodwood

Today is not the first time Richard Hannon has reckoned he might have a shot at ending Frankel's perfect record. The champion trainer took him on at Newbury in April, and was mystified to see Strong Suit fold so tamely. A wind operation since, however, has permitted the chestnut to show his true colours – and a dashing success on the first day of the meeting here yesterday ensured that Richard Hughes, in particular, will be full of confidence when he meets Frankel this afternoon.

It is difficult, admittedly, to envisage him having quite as leisurely a ride on Canford Cliffs. Having shadowed Red Jazz, who set a steady pace in the Bet 365 Lennox Stakes, Hughes sat motionless as his rivals lunged into overdrive. With characteristic nerve, Hughes delayed until the last furlong before finally releasing the acceleration that would surely make Strong Suit eligible for the top sprints next year. Red Jazz held on for second, but Delegator ran very flat, trailing in last.

A Royal Ascot winner in consecutive seasons, Strong Suit clearly has Group One calibre. Though caught only close to home when tried at that level in France on his previous start, Hughes said he never felt right that day. "I don't know if he didn't travel over well, or he got stung or something," the jockey said. "I was never happy with him, but he was only beaten a couple of heads. Today he was a different horse. When he's good, he's very good."

Like Nathaniel at Ascot last weekend, the winner was profiting from the concession of weight from his seniors – and that does not augur well for Canford Cliffs against Frankel. "We're giving a lot of weight away but we'll give it a shot," Hannon shrugged. "It's just unfortunate one of them will get beat."

A very different type of ride won the Gordon Stakes – one that gave a fresh gloss to the relentless title challenge of Silvestre de Sousa. The Brazilian got Namibian home by a neck after duelling through the final furlong with Ryan Moore, on Fiorente. Mark Johnston, like Hannon a perennial winner here, recognised the symbolism.

"Knowing Ryan was next to him, on the favourite, I knew Silvestre would match him stride for stride," the trainer said. "He's full of confidence, and he's my type of jockey. He has no hesitation. He's not a pretty, polished sort of jockey, but he's effective – more Kieren Fallon than Frankie Dettori. He's strong in a finish, yes, but he's good in every part of the race. You can always see him thinking ahead, very rarely see him boxed in."

The sponsors halved Namibian's Ladbrokes St Leger odds to 10-1. The other Group race, the Molecomb, was plundered for Ireland by Requinto, whose trainer, David Wachman, was at the Galway Festival. This is always an exasperating clash, but you would not catch Hannon and Hughes anywhere but here. After nine winners last year, they also won a photo for the maiden with a colt named Moustache. The official margin was "a nose" but should surely, in the circumstances, have been given as "a whisker".

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
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Microsoft Dynamics Consultant - Watford - £65,000 + Bonus.

£50000 - £65000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Dynamics Expert...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - London - up to £48,000

£38000 - £48000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Senior ...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower