Conford Cliffs Can Do for Hughes

Richard Hughes was a sight to behold atop the three-year-old, Canford Cliffs, scoring a victory and denying Rip Van Winkle back-to-backs in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes

It wasn't long after trainer Richard Hannon obtained his 50th victory that he gained the 51st in the Group One feature, courtesy of his son-in-law.

The Hannon family ties have had great success on the Sussex Downs during the week with Canford Cliffs following up on his Irish 2000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes victories to grant them their win number four.

Hughes held back his mount early and gained ground as Rip Van Winkle overtook his pace-making stablemate Encompassing within the last two furlongs, charging into the clear in an attempt to become the only back-to-back winner of the event, but Hughes was awake to his tactic and got Canford Cliffs to contest within the distance.

A accelerating explosion of pace brought him aside and as the duo went a neck in front, Hughes was able to complete the victory.

"He is the best I have trained and I hope to God that he stays in training next year," said Hannon.

"He is a great horse and always has been. He got some stick about not staying but he just needed to settle.

"He has a lovely turn of foot and Paco Boy was in the same position as him last year but could not pick up and go by Rip Van Winkle.

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"The way he has improved has been unreal. Richard rode him in work the other morning and said he had come on 7lb from Ascot.

"The QEII and the Jacques le Marios are obvious races, but if we can get a deal done with a stud for them to allow us to race him next year I will be happy to finish him now for the season as he has won three Group Ones.

"If we can keep him then I think he will be an awesome horse next year."

Hughes added, "Rip Van Winkle kicked and went three lengths up and we still nearly won on the bridle.

"He is just so talented at whatever he does and nothing can live with him at home.

"I rode him the other day and said he has improved out of all knowledge.

"He actually ran a bit rusty there and never got into full flight."

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