Ridgemont-Highlands stallion Canford Cliffs stepped into the spotlight this past weekend when Irish-bred daughter Jin Jin took her flawless career record to six from six with a dominant victory in the Gr3 Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud.
Unbeaten in three starts at three and successful in Listed races at Hanover and Baden Baden this season, the German-trained four-year-old took the step up to Graded level in her stride and was never headed to complete a stakes hattrick, taking the mile race by the best part of two lengths.
Undoubtedly still improving, this €4000 bargain buy looks deserving of bigger targets!
Her sire’s racetrack accomplishments cannot be faulted.
Described by trainer Richard Hannon Snr as “the best I’ve ever had”, the powerful bay Canford Cliffs won seven of 11 starts and never finished out of the first three.
Europe’s dominant miler at three and four, he won no less than five consecutive Gr1 races over the trip. His splendid Gr1 treble of the Irish 2000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes (over multiple Gr1 winner Dick Turpin) and Sussex Stakes (over champion Rip Van Winkle), saw him rated the top three-year-old miler in England and Ireland.
As good, if not better, at four, the bay confirmed his class by winning the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes before defeating the brilliant mare Goldikova in the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He signed off with a second to the mighty Frankel in the Gr1 Sussex Stakes and was voted the champion older miler in Europe in 2011, receiving a Timeform rating of 133.
Retired to Coolmore Stud in 2012, the son of Tagula did shuttle duty between Ireland and Australia until his purchase by Ridgemont Highlands.
In addition to Jin Jin, Canford Cliff’s Northern hemisphere progeny include Group winners Al Jazi, Painted Cliffs, Princess Asta and Most Beautiful, English and Irish Oaks third Harlequeen and the multiple Gr1-placed stakes winner Salouen, who came within a head of upsetting champion Cracksman in the Gr1 Coronation Cup.
A former Coolmore shuttle stallion, Canford Cliff’s Australian-bred runners are headed by Gr2 winner Cliff’s Edge and the South African stakes winning duo of Fish River and Dorset Noble. The former won the Gr3 Three Troika Stakes for Mauritzfontein, while the latter claimed the East Cape Derby for Marsh Shirtliff and Bernard Kantor.
There is plenty of excitement that Canford Cliffs will be adding to his impressive list of has 40 black type horses.
To date, the champion’s progeny have banked the equivalent of over R389 million!
As befits a horse of his stature – a champion on the track and a stakes sire in both hemispheres – Canford Cliffs covered well over 100 mares in his first South African season two years ago and from 2019 registrations published so far, that first book was brimming with quality.
His first South African crop includes half-sisters to champion Russian Sage, Gr1 winner Divine Jury and the dual Gr2 Gold Bracelet queen Running Brave, as well as half-brothers to Gr2 winner My Sanctuary and Gr3 Track & Ball Oaks winner Seville Orange.
This season, Canford Cliffs is again assured strong support, with Ridgemont-Highlands sending him forty plus of their own high-class mares.
Amongst those are multiple champion Dancer’s Daughter (Act One) and Front And Centre (Dynasty) who won the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas and the Gr3 Diana Stakes and is a multiple Graded placed racing filly.
In the mix too are Gr1 winners Takingthepeace (Visionaire) and Miss Florida (Captain Al), as well as Graded stakes winners Nastergal (Duke Of Marmalade), Sabina’s Dynasty (Dynasty), Crimson Blossom (Danehill Dancer), the dam of Gr3 Gold Cup victress Dynasty’s Blossom, Nona In Command, dam of classy stakes winner Pretty Young Thing, and the top-class champion broodmare Our Table Mountain.
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