Following his defeat the hands Frankel in Sussex Stakes, Canford Cliffs has been retired to a career at stud.
The five time Group One winner was involved in one of the worlds most anticipated races last week when he took on Frankel in ‘The Duel on the Downs’ in a race that decided which horse moved to the top of the international timeform ratings.
The Richard Hannon trained stallion could not match the brilliance and Frankel and finished second.
Immediately following the race connections of Canford Cliffs were confident he could bounce back, however the horse was found to be suffering a minor leg injury, and such is his stud value the decision was made to retire him from racing.
“He has a bit of a shadow on the joint running into the pastern and that could turn into something nasty. It could turn into a fracture,” Hannon said.
“If we carried on, we would have to give him a box rest and with a big horse like him, he’d just get bigger and bigger and heavier and heavier. Doing that might cause him a bad injury and that would break everybody’s heart.
“He’s a perfectly sound horse and I could very nearly go on training him, but under that light, I don’t want to do the horse any damage as he’s done us so proud. It’s a terrible shame. It’s just heartbreaking, but I don’t want to see him end up with a bad injury.”
Canford Cliffs will now serve mares for Coolmore Stud, after the international breeding conglomerate purchased the horse last year.
Canford Cliffs retires with a record of seven wins and four placing’s from his 11 career starts. Of those seven wins, five were in successive Group One races. He won the 2000 Guineas, St James Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Lockinge Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes in succession before going to down to Frankel in his last start.
“Canford Cliffs was a very rare type in that he had such great early speed as a two year old but also stretched out to be a superb miler at three and four – He is without a doubt the best horse I have had in over 40 years as a trainer,” Hannon said.
“It’s bitterly disappointing for his owners and for everyone here at East Everleigh that he had to be retired due to injury but at least it does explain why he hung in so badly at Goodwood.”
At the time of his retirement, Canford Cliffs was rated the fourth best horse in the world, behind Frankel, Black Caviar and So You Think.
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