FIVE-TIME GROUP 1 winner Canford Cliffs has been retired to stud by connections after he developed a minor leg injury.
Richard Hannon’s four-year-old, whose recent “Duel on the Downs” with Frankel gripped the horse racing world, will now stand at John Magnier’s Coolmore Stud in Fethard, Co. Tipperary after a deal was signed last year which secured his services as a stallion.
The horse exploded onto the scene in May 2009 before scoring three successive Group 1 successes last year, winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St. James’ Palace Stakes, and the Sussex Stakes in quick succession.
He continued that fine form into this season, overturning the highly-rated Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot before losing out to Frankel in what would turn out to be his final race.
A medical examination after last week’s defeat in Goodwood revealed a small injury on his pastern, forcing Hannon and connections to retire the colt or run the risk of him developing a serious injury.
“He’s a perfectly sound horse and I could very nearly go on training him,” Hannon told the Press Association, “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 heartbreaking, but I don’t want to see him end up with a bad injury.”
He is without doubt the best horse I have had in over 40 years as a trainer.
Watch Canford Cliffs’ brilliant win over Goldikova at Royal Ascot: