Sometimes a trainer/jockey can end up with egg on their face when going overboard about a horses ability, but that was not the case with trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes.
Ever since the Tagula colt won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot as a two year old connections have always claimed that they have an exceptional animal on their hands.
Since then three defeats at the highest level have failed to dampen their judgement and today that judgement was more than vindicated when the colt slaughtered a top class field in the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Hughes was able to settle Canford Cliffs much better than was the case at Newmarket, and once he asked the 9/4 favourite to quicken the response was electric.
Free Judgement ran a big race in second and Viscount Nelson faired best of the Aidan O’Brien team to finish third.
While the Hannon camp think the world of Canford Cliffs, O’Brien has always held his colt Steinbeck in high regard.
Johnny Murtagh’s mount, who was having his first run of the season, delighted his trainer in finishing fourth and a rematch with the winner looks very much on the cards , in Royal Ascot’s St James’s Palace Stakes.
With the stanjames.com 2000 Guineas winner Makfi also likely to head for Ascot, the one mile contest has the hallmark of one of the highlights of the season.
The last word has to rest with Richard Hannon jnr who stated after today’s race: " The horse ( Canford Cliffs ) we always thought he was."