As the 2012 flat season edges close, followers of the sport are waiting in anticipation to see the return of the likes of Frankel, Camelot and St Nicholas Abbey on the racecourse once again.

Unfortunately one horse we won’t see at the track this year is the 2011 Queen Annes Stakes winner Canford Cliffs.

The five year-old year old retired to stud not long after his success at Royal Ascot where he got the better of the 14-time Group One winner Goldikova in a close tussle on day one of the Royal meeting.

His final appearance before his retirement was in the much eagerly awaited clash with Frankel at Goodwood. At the age of four, Canford Cliffs was taking on the 2000 Guineas winner and the most highly regarded miler in Europe. Richard Hannon’s runner hung left in the closing stages and was beaten by five lengths to the new superstar in racing. Those following the latest Royal Ascot odds will have been impressed.

Canford Cliffs won five Group Ones in the 11 racecourse appearances of his career, which included the Irish 2000 Guineas, Lockinge Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Although Hannon has lost one of his prized assets from his yard, he does have three-time Group Two winner Strong Suit who could be ready to step up to Group One company this season. The Qatar Bloodstock Ltd-owned four year old failed in his attempt to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on his final start of 2011, however, wins at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood ensured a pleasing year for connections.

Hannon will also be confident that Dick Turpin can add another Group One victory to his record at the age of five in the upcoming campaign.

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