Saturday’s pleasing seasonal return for the outstanding miler Canford Cliffs, winner of the Group1 Lockinge Stakes, sets up the mouth watering possibility of a clash between Richard Hannon’s star four-year-old and the brilliant Frankel, breathtaking winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket at the end of last month, writes Elliot Slater.
With Frankel looking almost certain to be campaigned at around a mile this term having already been ruled out of the Derby by his trainer Henry Cecil, and owner Prince Khaled Abdullah, the prospect of the most talked about horse in international racing going head-to-head with last season’s outstanding miler was always a possibility. Following Canford Cliffs’ smooth disposal of a high-class field at Newbury at the weekend offering visual proof that he remains an absolutely top-class performer over eight furlongs, the Tagula colt’s connections seem more than happy to clash swords with Frankel at some point this term. Those who bet horse racing money will be very much looking forward to the event.
The smart money on the first meeting of the two greater milers of their respective generations appears to be on the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood at the end of July, by which point Frankel will have taken in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, whilst Canford Cliffs has a choice of engagements including a potential race against the third great miler of the era Goldikova, the superb French mare being expected to bid again to win the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot where she could face Canford Cliffs for the very first time. Those betting online will be excited by the prospect of this clash.
Taking the dream a stage further, could it really be possible for all three to contest the Sussex Stakes or maybe the QEII Stakes at Ascot later in the year? British racing is blessed to have both Frankel and Canford Cliffs illuminating he scene at the moment and it is just to be hoped that both remain healthy for the rest of the term allowing us to look forward to some potentially thrill mile clashes later this season.