Ultimately the battle against Frankel proved too much for Canford Cliffs and after he was beaten 5 lengths by the unbeaten wonder horse he was retired with an injury – he may have been bloodied but he was probably unbowed.
Named after an affluent suburb on the eastern edge of Poole Harbour in Dorset, Canford Cliffs certainly brought plenty of riches to his owners from his seven wins in his career. Those seven wins came from just 11 runs and under one jockey Richard Hughes and you could tell on his debut in a Newbury maiden that this was going to be a top-class racehorse. After that initial win he strode to victory by six-lengths in the 2009 Coventry Stakes despite being very keen throughout. Those following the horse racing betting tips would have been impressed.
After that unbeaten career start he was there to be shot at and he was duly shot down in his next couple of runs at odds-on – the first coming on his final start as a two-year-old in the Group 1 Prix Morny and the next in his opening race of his three-year-old season when beaten by stablemate Dick Turpin in the Greenham. At that point he was stepped up in distance to a mile and ran third in the 2010 2000 Guineas despite not being suited by the track. People who bet on racing know this is the sign of a good horse.
Those early “‘setbacks”‘ were to prove the catalyst for a five race winning run in Group 1 company with the Irish 2000 Guineas, St James’s Palace, Sussex Stakes, Lockinge Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes all falling to Canford Cliffs.
For a horse who only cost £50,000 as a yearling that was quite some haul, in fact in his career he won 951,724 in prize-money and proved good enough for Coolmore to buy stallions shares in the horse valued at £4 million.
Like all the other 50 horses that Frankel has beaten Canford Cliffs tried but was beaten in his final race of his career, but when all is said and done he was a top-class racehorse whose record stands as a testament to his trainer Richard Hannon.