Canford Cliffs retired to Coolmore Stud

Canford Cliffs has been retired after suffering a leg injury in the G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last week.

He will stand at Coolmore Stud after vets advised connections to retire the four year-old.  He suffered a pastern injury to the near foreleg chasing home Frankel in the Sussex Stakes.

The Richard Hannon-trained stallion had won five successive Group 1 races before last week’s five-length defeat.  His owner Robin Heffer sold a half share to Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith at the end of last year.

Heffer originally bought him for 50,000 guineas at the Doncaster St Leger yearling sale in August 2008.

“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,” Hannon said.  “He is without doubt the best horse I have had in over 40 years as a trainer.

“It’s bitterly disappointing that he had to be retired but at least it does explain why he hung so badly at Goodwood.  We were very much looking forward to taking on Frankel again.”

Canford Cliffs (4c Tagula – Mrs Marsh by Marju) was one of the most impressive G2 Coventry Stakes winners of modern times winning by six lengths at Royal Ascot in 2009.

He carried all before him at three in the Irish 2000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and Sussex Stakes.

Having made a successful reappearance in Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes this season, Canford Cliffs confirmed himself an outstanding miler when lowering the colours of Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Hopes were high in the Hannon camp that he would be a match for the year-younger Frankel at Goodwood, but he was never travelling and began hanging badly in the closing stages.

“Scans revealed a shadow on his pastern which could cause serious damage if we had gone on,” Hannon said.  “Canford Cliffs is too great a horse to take chances.  Hopefully, we will have some of his sons and daughters back here in the not too distant future.”

Canford Cliffs (Ire) is an obvious candidate to shuttle to Coolmore Australia although his sireline is largely unknown in this part of the world.  

He is a son of Rathbarry Stud sire Tagula (Taufan) and his dam Mrs Marsh is an unraced half-sister to Kentucky stakes winner Pina Colada (Sabrehill).