Canford Cliffs dethroned the mighty mare Goldikova in the opening race at Royal Ascot as he took the Queen Anne Stakes by a length over the French wonder mare with Cityscape back in third place with Aidan O’Brien’s Cape Blanco finishing second last.
In a race that was run at a solid pace throughout it was Richard Hughes who proved the coolest man at Ascot as he swooped late and fast on Canford Cliffs, the well backed 11/8 shot, to remain unbeaten this season and land his fifth Group 1 of his career.
Cape Blanco and Flash Dance, Goldikova’s pacemaker took the field on from the outset. Oliver Peliser and Goldikova were content to sit third with Hughes and Canford Cliffs all the time tracking the French mare.
As the field approached the 2 furlong marker it was Cape Blanco who cracked first and began to drop away which left Goldikova in front sooner than maybe her jockey would have wanted. She kicked on but Hughes was following her every move.
Canford Cliffs drew alongside Goldikova and without been asked much by his jockey he was pushed out to win by a comfortable length back to Goldikova. Back in third was the unconsidered 14/1 shot Cityscape.
After the race Richard Hannon, trainer of Canford Cliffs could not contain his delight “He is a very special horse. Horses like him don’t come around very often. He has such a high cruising speed and he can also quicken. It’s a great day”
Jockey Richard Hughes was equally high in his praise of Canford Cliffs “He is the best horse that I have ever ridden. Since the first day I sat on him I taught he was an amazing horse and he has proved it”