Horses To Follow » Canford Cliffs

Canford Cliffs

Canford Cliffs put up a huge performance in the 2000 Guineas on Saturday in the circumstances. He raced freely in the early stages, he didn’t drop the bridle until after they had gone two furlongs, after which he travelled really well through the race towards the near side. Still travelling easily at the two-furlong pole, he and the winner were the only two who hadn’t come under pressure a furlong and a half out, and actually Richard Hughes didn’t go for Canford Cliffs until after Christophe Lemaire had gone for Makfi.

While Canford Cliffs picked up impressively, and ran on well enough to take third place, he just couldn’t match Makfi’s surge, nor could he catch his stable companion Dick Turpin for second. This is the second time in as many runs that he has finished behind Dick Turpin, and we may have to just accept that the other Richard Hannon horse is simply better over this trip. Canford Cliffs may be a seven-furlong horse now. While he does get a mile – you don’t finish third in a Guineas without getting a mile – and he did run all the way to the line, it may be that he will prove to be more effective over seven furlongs. The faster pace that they go over seven furlongs would help him settle better, and his pace could be used to maximum effect in the final furlong.

Richard Hughes could be as aggressive on him as he wished over seven, instead of feeling that he has to conserve his energy for as long as he can over a mile. I wouldn’t give up on his prospects of becoming a top class miler if he learned to settle better, but you could just be more certain of him over seven, and he looks like an ideal candidate for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot now. Furthermore, if Richard Hannon were to train him as a sprinter now, there is little doubt that he would have the pace to at least be competitive in the very best six furlong races. It is difficult to forget the pace that he showed in the Coventry Stakes last year, albeit that he was a juvenile competing against fellow juveniles.

1st May 2010

© The Irish Field, 8th May 2010