Canford Cliffs out of Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

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Canford Cliffs out of Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
The big clash between Canford Cliffs and Makfi in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is off after Richard Hannon’s colt was ruled out of the race.
Canford Cliffs, already a triple Group One winner this season, will miss Saturday's big race at Ascot, after his final scope test came up with an unsatisfactory result.
The news will come as a bitter blow to his trainer who had spoken so enthusiastically just 24 hours before when Canford Cliffs had completed his final workout before the race in such style that Hannon believed he was in the best form of the year.
As, Richard Hannon explained on his website this morning: “The scope was marginal, but Canford Cliffs is now such a valuable commodity that you cannot take any chances, so, having listened to veterinary advice from Mike O'Gorman, we have no option but to pull out.
“Everyone in the yard is absolutely gutted, and we realise that it could well cost us the trainer's championship, but the welfare of the horse comes first and you need to be one hundred per cent to go into a battle for a Group One.
"I must stress that the tracheal wash was not terrible, but the reading was disappointing, and, though he'd probably be fine if there was another race coming up in a week or so, the fact is there is nothing left over a mile, just the Forêt over seven furlongs.
"However, the great thing is that we have him in training for next year - he has done us proud this season, and he'll be back better than ever as a four-year-old."
In the absence of Canford Cliffs, Mafki is the heavy market leader. The colt, trained in France by Mikel Delzangles could cement his claims as champion miler with a victory having already won the 2000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques le Marois, where he beat both Goldikova and Paco Boy.
Makfi will face a total of seven rivals which includes three from the Aidan O’Brien yard, headed by Rip Van Winkle, who will be attempting to become the first horse to win the race in successive years since Rose Bowl in 1975 and ‘76. Johnny Murtagh rides Rip Van Winkle while O’Brien’s other runners will be Beethoven (Ryan Moore) and Air Chief Marshall (Jamie Spencer).
Godolphin will be represented by Poet's Voice, who was supplemented for the race on Monday at a cost of £20,000, while Bushman, Hearts Of Fire and Red Jazz complete the field.
The other Group One race on the card, the Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile, brings together the market leaders for next season’s 1000 Guineas – White Moonstone and Theysken's Theory, while Frankel, who created such a favourable impression when at Newmarket and Doncaster, steps up to Group Two class for the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes.



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