Monday, June 20, 2011
CLASH OF THE GENERATIONS IN QIPCO SUSSEX STAKES
GOODWOOD GEARING UP FOR MEETING OF CANFORD CLIFFS AND FRANKEL ON JULY 27
Goodwood racecourse is gearing itself up for the eagerly-anticipated clash between Canford Cliffs and Frankel in the £300,000 Group One QIPCO Sussex Stakes, which takes place over a mile on Wednesday, July 27, day two of Glorious Goodwood.
Both horses were successful over a mile at Royal Ascot last Tuesday, with four-year-old Canford Cliffs defeating 13-time Group One winner Goldikova by a length in the Queen Anne Stakes while just over an hour later the Henry Cecil-trained Frankel, imperious six-length winner of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30, extended his unbeaten record to seven races when taking the St James’s Palace Stakes.
The Richard Hannon-trained Canford Cliffs has a QIPCO Sussex Stakes victory to his name already, having taken the honours last year when superbly ridden by Richard Hughes for a neck victory over Rip Van Winkle.
Richard Hannon junior, assistant trainer to his father, reported today: “Canford Cliffs came out of the Queen Anne fine and we are looking at either the QIPCO Sussex Stakes or possibly the Coral-Eclipse for him next. We will discuss it with the owners as it’s a question of one race or the other.
“I would be confident taking on Frankel at Goodwood. It will be a good race and hopefully we will win.”
Last week, Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Frankel’s owner Khalid Abdulla, stated in the Racing Post on Friday: “The Sussex Stakes is the race we would be looking at. It seems the obvious one to consider, though we will have to see how he goes up to then.”
Frankel will be taking on all-aged opposition for the first time should he line up in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes and will be bidding to become the eighth 2000 Guineas winner since 1945 to subsequently land the Sussex Stakes in the same season. The most recent horse to complete the double was the Aidan O’Brien-trained Henrythenavigator in 2008, while other colts to have won both races in the same season include giants of the turf Brigadier Gerard (1971) and Rock Of Gibraltar (2002). Interestingly, both of trainer Henry Cecil’s previous two 2000 Guineas winners, Bolkonski (1975) and Wollow (1976), progressed to take the Sussex Stakes.
First run in 1841, the QIPCO Sussex Stakes was initially only open to three-year-olds. In 1960, four-year-olds were also allowed to compete and in 1975 it became an all-aged affair. The statistics since 1960 strongly favour Frankel, with 37 horses from the Classic generation having prevailed during that time, compared to nine four-year-olds.
Adam Waterworth, Goodwood’s Managing Director, commented: “The QIPCO Sussex Stakes has always been the first time the three-year-old champions meet the older horses over a mile, but rarely does the clash involve two stars of the quality and stature of Frankel and Canford Cliffs.
“The fact that Canford Cliffs is our reigning champion, and Frankel has been so breathtaking throughout his unbeaten career, simply adds to the duel, and both performances at Royal Ascot confirm these really are the best milers of their respective generations taking each other on in one of Europe’s most iconic mile races.
“Five weeks is a long time in any season, but I for one am looking forward to seeing this clash more than any Flat race I can remember for some time, and that is without taking into account the other great milers who will take to the stage on July 27.
“The QIPCO British Champions Series was devised to provide a focus for meetings such as these, and it is great that Goodwood will host such an important part of the first series.”
Glorious Goodwood runs from Tuesday, July 26, through to Saturday, July 30, and features high-class action every day at the world’s most beautiful racecourse. For further information and to buy tickets, please go to www.goodwood.co.uk
CANFORD CLIFFS AND REWILDING THE STARS OF THE SHOW AS QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES HITS HALFWAY STAGE
New official ratings revealed following the Royal Ascot Group 1 races
Canford Cliffs’ victory in the Queen Anne Stakes and Rewilding’s triumph in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes shared the performance honours across the seven QIPCO British Champions Series races at Royal Ascot last week according to the BHA handicappers, both running to a mark of 127.
That figure matches Canford Cliffs’ previous rating, but it represents a rise of 6lb for Rewilding.
Queen Anne runner-up Goldikova is likely to see her rating drop 1lb to 124, while the Prince of Wales’s runner-up, So You Think, ran to his current rating of 126.
Frankel, winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes, ran to a mark of 122, a full 8lb below his QIPCO 2000 Guineas mark of 130, though his 130 rating will remain unchanged. Runner-up Zoffany is set to go up 5lb to 120.
Fame And Glory is viewed as having run to a mark of 120 in his Gold Cup triumph by the BHA handicappers, his first attempt in a long distance race. That is 2lb below his current middle distance rating.
Immortal Verse put up the best performance in a Fillies & Mares race this season when winning the Coronation Stakes. She achieved a mark of 115, up 6lb on her previous rating.
The two big Sprint race winners both see their ratings rise. The King’s Stand Stakes hero, Prohibit, is up 4lb to 117 and Golden Jubilee Stakes victor Society Rock is up 6lb to 118 to top the latest sprint ranking table.
The QIPCO British Champions Series is now at the 15-race mark, the halfway point on the 30-race journey that leads to its ground-breaking finale, the £3 million QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, when the final five races will be run.
“We’re halfway to QIPCO British Champions Day and so far the Series has worked just as we hoped it would, highlighting the path through the season at the elite level of our sport for those who are not familiar with it,” said Chris McFadden, Chairman of British Champions Series Ltd.
“The Mile category illustrates this particularly well. We’ve had four races so far – two for three-year-olds only that were both won by Frankel and two for four-year-olds and up, both won by Canford Cliffs.
“Now these two miling stars are set to clash in the fifth race, the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday 27 July, in what will be the most eagerly awaited clash of the season so far.
“The Middle Distance category is equally fascinating. Rewilding made a big impression when beating So You Think in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the third race in the Middle Distance category, and he is likely to return to Ascot for the fifth Middle Distance race, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by Betfair on Saturday 23 July.
“There he may well meet the winner of the first Middle Distance race in the Series, St Nicholas Abbey.
“So You Think, meanwhile, may well contest the fourth Middle Distance race which will be the next Series contest to be run, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on Saturday 2 July, in what could be a mouth-watering clash with last year’s Investec Derby hero, Workforce.
“If we thought we’d had it good in June, then July could be truly sensational!”
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES SPRINT RANKINGS
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES MILE RANKINGS
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES MIDDLE DISTANCE RANKINGS
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES LONG DISTANCE RANKINGS
QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES FILLIES & MARES RANKINGS
*Rating subject to ratification by the handicapper in the country where the horse is trained.
#Please note that where a horse has achieved its official rating in a different category, the rating appropriate to the QIPCO British Champions Series category in which it is being ranked will be used.
The upcoming QIPCO British Champions Series races in July are:
Coral-Eclipse Stakes (1¼m, 3yo+), Sandown Park, Saturday 2 July (MIDDLE DISTANCE)
Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (1m, 3yo+ fillies & mares), Newmarket, Friday 8 July (FILLIES & MARES)
Darley July Cup (6f, 3yo+), Newmarket, Saturday 9 July (SPRINT)
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) (1½m, 3yo+), Ascot, Saturday 23 July (MIDDLE DISTANCE)
QIPCO Sussex Stakes (1m, 3yo+), Goodwood, Wednesday 27 July (MILE)
Artemis Goodwood Cup (2m, 3yo+), Goodwood, Thursday 28 July (LONG DISTANCE)
Nassau Stakes (1¼m, 3yo+ fillies & mares), Goodwood, Saturday 30 July (FILLIES & MARES)