Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 21 January 2018

Hannon hints at 'foreign' return for Canford Cliffs

Trainer Richard Hannon
Trainer Richard Hannon

Thomas Kelly

CLASSY miler Canford Cliffs could run again this season as connections of the three-year-old mull a foreign trip with their star colt.

Winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James's Palace and Sussex Stakes, Canford Cliffs was due to run in last weekend's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, but an unsatisfactory scope forced his withdrawal and Richard Hannon (right) indicated the son of Tagula would not run again this year.

But while the trainer would rather focus on Canford Cliffs' four-year-old career now, the colt's owners want to look at the remaining foreign options this term. "The owners seem keen to have another run, though there is nothing left for him in Europe, so I suppose if he does go again they will be looking at the Breeders' Cup as well as Japan and Hong Kong," said Hannon.

"If they decide against travelling him this year, we'll pack him up until next season."

Hannon has another possible Breeders' Cup contender in Paco Boy, which is due to run in France this weekend, while stablemate Dick Turpin could also make one final appearance before the year is out.

"Paco Boy is on target to take on Goldikova again on Sunday in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp and I would imagine that the owners will then sit down and decide whether to have one last roll of the dice at Churchill Downs.

"Dick Turpin, which like Canford Cliffs is coming back to us as a four-year-old, is not entered in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket so he has just the one option, the Vittorio di Capua in Milan on Sunday week."

The stable's prolific juvenile winner Zebedee has been retired to stud in Ireland.

The Invincible Spirit colt has been beaten just once in seven starts for Hannon this season and has earned over £160,000 in prize money. His wins include Goodwood's Molecomb Stakes and the Flying Childers at Doncaster with his only defeat when he came fifth at Royal Ascot.

Hannon said: "Zebedee proved an absolute star for us and it was a pleasure to have him in the yard.

"You never like losing one of your best, but Zebedee was only small and a sprinter through-and-through, so it would have been tough for him next season against the older speed merchants."

Meanwhile, Admiral Barry is on course to be Eoin Griffin's first runner at Newmarket when he lines-up for the Cesarewitch.

The County Kilkenny trainer reports the in-form five-year-old stayer to be on target for the marathon following his latest success at the Curragh.

Admiral Barry is vying for favouritism at around 8/1 in the ante-post betting for the October 16 test.

Irish jockey Eddie Ahern hopes to be back for that Newmarket meeting after fracturing his right collarbone in a fall at Bath on Monday.

Irish Independent

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