The opening race of Royal Ascot, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, gave Canford Cliffs (IRE) the opportunity to lay claim to be the world’s best older miler with a snug success over Golidkova (IRE). Ridden as usual by Richard Hughes, the 4yo son of Tagula was winning on this day of Royal Ascot for the third consecutive season and the winning trainer Richard Hannon was justifiably proud of his stable-star and commented; “Goldikova is a brilliant mare, but mine is a very good horse and we had to take her on. Thankfully when it came to it he was able to go by her. He is a very special horse to us. I do get pretty emotional about him - it's hard not to!”
Coolmore Stud having bought a half share of Canford Cliffs last year can now look forward to standing him in Tipperary should he retire at the end of this season. Canford Cliffs has been a success story not only for his breeder Simon Hubbard-Rodwell but also for Rathbarry Stud where his sire Tagula stands and also pin-hooker Jimmy Murphy of Redpender Stud. Murphy bought Canford Cliffs as a foal in Goffs for €46,000 and resold him as a yearling to Peter Doyle for €50,000. Though not a jackpot pin-hook by any means, when Canford Cliffs dam Mrs Marsh came up for sale soon after, Murphy bought her for €25,000 in foal to Holy Roman Emperor. The subsequent exploits of Canford Cliffs saw the value of the young mare and her progeny rocket and having sold the Holy Roman Emperor for £100,000 as a yearling, he also sold Mrs Marsh privately; a very shrewd piece of bloodstock trading.