Race of the Week 2017
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Across the Pond

'Clash of the Titans' Set for Glorious Goodwood

At one point during this past weekend, it looked as though a field of seven would go postward in Wednesday’s QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Eng-I), one of the showcase events of the Glorious Goodwood meeting that runs from July 26-July 30. However, when entries were drawn early Monday, only the names of four horses passed the entry box.

Of course, the big two in the race are Canford Cliffs and Frankel. Expectations are high for this eight furlong ‘clash of the titans’. Both colts enter the Sussex off of victories at Royal Ascot. 

Canford Cliffs, a 4-year-old son of Tagula, won this race last year, and has won five straight group I races, going back to the 2010 Stanjames.com Irish 2000 Guineas (Ire-I). The Richard Hannon trainee most recently defeated the great Goldikova by a length in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I). 

The ‘challenger’ to Canford Cliffs’ ‘defending champ’ is the fabulous Frankel, the undefeated 3-year-old son of Galileo. The Juddmonte colorbearer has won all seven of his career starts, and has three group I victories on his resume. His running style has no doubt given trainer Sir Henry Cecil heartburn; the colt has shown to some extent that he can rate, but has such a quick turn of foot that for the most part, he takes an early lead and says to all “catch me if you can”. 

One wonders what sort of arm twisting the Goodwood racing secretary/clerk of course had to do to get the other two horses to run. One of the other challengers (with a morning line of 30-1) is Godolphin’s three-time group I winner, Rio de La Plata. The 6-year-old horse by Rahy notched two of this big wins last year, both in Italy, in races with distances ranging from eight to 12 furlongs. He most recently finished fourth to Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne, and looks to be in a bit over his head here. 

Trainer Freddie Head sends out Rajsaman in the Sussex. The 4-year-old son of Linamix has won several times going a mile, but never in group I-company. With Head as his trainer, Rajsaman deserves a look, but you have to think that he might be in a bit deep, too. 

It’s interesting to note that Frankel will be receiving an eight pound (!) break in the weights, since this race is weight-for-age. Frankel, the lone 3-year-old in the race, will carry 125, whereas Canford Cliffs and the others will tote 133. (if this race were run stateside, the weights would probably be 116 for Frankel and 122 for the others…don’t get me started, please) 

This race will certainly be a chess match between jockeys Richard Hughes (C.C.) and Tom Queally (Frankel). Frankie Dettori, who will be aboard ‘Rio’ will also have some say in the matter, too. It looks to me as though Frankel is a bit more tractable of the pair, and really could be placed anywhere. However, he may go it once again on the front end, since there doesn’t appear to be any true pacesetter here.

Regardless of whom you might be cheering for, this race certainly has all the makings for becoming the race of the year in England. Let's hope for good racing luck and safe trips for all.


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Older Comments about 'Clash of the Titans' Set for Glorious Goodwood...

Looks to me like he's a freak. 3yos just don't beat top older horses that way in July.
If this was run at the end of September I would go with Frankle but unless this horse is a freak like Secretariat he's at a huge age disadvantage.
Think Frankel has the edge...though he won his last outing (mile) by a short length...cannot forget his win in the 2000 Guineas by 6 lengths over Dubawi Gold...
Top 4yo old against top 3yo in July. CC has huge advantage that 8lbs isn't going to make up for for Frankel
With 8lbs advantage and a tacticle advantage I think Frank does have the upper hand. I'm rooting for the youngster.
It's the fastest 3yr.old in racing at a mile on turf. Going against the fastest 4yr.old in racing at a mile on turf. Both Canford Cliffs and Frankel absolutely reek of class!! Whichever one win's this race? I can't say that I'll be surprised by the outcome. The only way I'd be shocked at the outcome of this year's Sussex Stakes would be if Rajsaman or Rio De La Plata end up winning the race.
ok thanks!!
@BrittanyHamilton, My guess is that TVG will also show the Sussex Stakes, too. TVG and HRTV usually both show the major G1 races from the UK and Ireland!!
Thanks. Will it be on TVG? I sadly dont have HRTV :p. I think Frankel will beat Canford Cliffs easily. It will be a great race either way though.
@BrittanyHamilton, You'll be able to see the G1 Sussex Stakes live on HRTV at 10:10 A.M. east coast time. Frankel at 8-11, Canford Cliffs at 11-8. Give me the 11-8 on Canford Cliffs all day long. Don't get me wrong, I think Frankel one of the best 3yr.old's that's come along in a long time, and he's got freakish ability. That said, Frankel's unbeaten record is all placated on having beaten other 3yr.old's that were clearly inferior to him. He's never faced older horses, and he's going right straight to the top of the list among older horses taking on Canford Cliffs. Frankel's never faced another horse with anywhere near the kind of speed and tactical ability that Canford Cliffs has. It's no accident that Canford Cliffs beat Goldikova pretty easily at Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes, and it's also no accident that he's reeled off 5 straight major G1 win's at a mile on turf. Going back to the 2010 season, Canford Cliffs has won the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, the G1 St James's Palace Stakes, the G1 Sussex Stakes, the G1 Lockinge Stakes, and the G1 Queen Anne Stakes in succession. He's faced some really tough milers in those 5 races, too. Canford Cliffs will beat Frankel in this year's Sussex Stakes, IMO.
What time will this race be on tv?? I have always wanted to watch Frankel race
I am thinking C.C teaches Frankel a lesson. Easy win. The only reason I would want Frankel to win is then it might make the connections of Frankel consider the BCmile.
This truly could be one of the top five races this year anywhere in the world. It would be too much to hope that these two along with Goldi line up in the BC Turf Mile. I would love to see Twirling Candy in that race too.
I love both colts but really like the way Frankel explodes away from his fields. If they don't try to rate him again I think he could win this with the big weight break. The distance favors Canford Cliffs and beating Goldikova is one of the toughest things to do in racing, that deserves a ton of respect.
No doubt this will be a tactical race. I'm going with Frankel in this one; I think he's the only one who can either go with it on the front end, or lay off the pace. He'll be up front and be allowed to dictate things...with Canford Cliffs right off of him. Definitely will be a close one. :)
This truly is a clash of 2 titans of the sport right now!! I agree with you Brian Zipse, I'm also picking Canford Cliffs. But him having to give away 8 or 9lbs. to Frankel is a serious concern. But, IMO, I think with only 4 horses in the field, this race becomes as much about tactics as it does speed. That's where Canford Cliffs will have the advantage, IMO. The pressure's more on Tom Queally riding Frankel to keep his unbeaten record in tact than it is on Richard Hughes and Canford Cliffs. Because Canford Cliffs has already been beaten in his career. Although, he has a 5 straight G1 winning streak on the line himself. Frankel's a beast. But so is the horse that's going to be running at him. I say Canford Cliffs beats Frankel in the Sussex Stakes by a head. TJMO.
I can't wait for this one ... my pick is Canford Cliffs, but the weight difference is a concern.

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