Canford Cliffs.

Canford Cliffs (IRE), bay, 2007, Tagula – Mrs.Marsh, by Marju. 8 starts; 5-1-2, and £645,951 (to-date). His wins include the Sussex Stakes, G1 (beating RIP VAN WINKLE); the St. James’ Palace Stakes, G1 (beating DICK TURPIN); the Irish 2,000 Guineas, G1; and the Coventry Stakes, G2.

It was reported in today’s edition of the Racing Post that Coolmore Stud is currently securing a deal that will see Canford Cliffs stand at the famous farm in 2012, when he retires from racing following his proposed 4yr old campaign of 2011. This is exciting news for the bloodstock industry and it looks to be a very savvy move on the part of Coolmore.

To date, CANFORD CLIFFS (IRE) is the only Group 1 winner by Rathbarry Stud’s Tagula (Taufan – Twin Island, by Standaan), but what a racehorse he has proved to be, and it is remarkable to think that there is quite likely much more to come from this exciting colt.

Trainer Richard Hannon has never been reserved in his praise for his talented charge, describing him as the best he had ever trained following his scintillating win over RIP VAN WINKLE (IRE) earlier this season in the Sussex Stakes, G1, at Goodwood; “He’s a very good horse, one of the best I’ve ever had. I would love to keep him in training . . . then I might not retire. . . We’ve had a lot of interest from studs for him and it would be great if we could do a deal so that he could run as a four-year-old, maybe in the stud’s colours.”

The 17yr old TAGULA, sire of Canford Cliffs, has consistently shown an ability to get more than his fair share of 2yr old winners (57% 2yr old winners/runners in 2009). He was a Champion First Season Sire and ranked 7th on the 2004 GB/IRE Leading 2yr old Sires list (behind Danehill, Pivotal, Giant’s Causeway, Sadler’s Wells, Entrepreneur, and Danehill Dancer). Tagula has to-date sired 22 stakes performers (including 4 Group and 7 listed winners).

Race Record of Tagula:

AT 2 Won Prix Morny Piaget, Deauville, Gr.1, (6f); SBJ Group July Stakes, Newmarket, Gr.3, (6f); third in Generous Dewhurst Stakes, Newmarket, Gr.1.

AT 3 Won Charlton Hunt Supreme Stakes, Goodwood, Gr.3, (7f); third in Dubai Poule d’Essai des Poulains, Longchamp, Gr.1, Tripleprint Greenham Stakes, Newbury, Gr.3, (to Danehill Dancer (IRE)).

As a racehorse, Tagula had speed to burn over the 6f trip at 2yrs, and showed he could stay 7f at 3yrs, so it is no surprise that most of his 2yr old winners generally show a liking for trips between 5f and 7f. Tagula was the first horse in history to complete the Prix Morny/July Stakes double. Following his win in the Prix Morny, G1, jockey Walter Swinburn said of Tagula; “I asked him to quicken but I never imagined the response would be so electric.” It is clear that Canford Cliffs has certainly inherited his sire’s “electricity”. His jockey Richard Hughes said of him; “you just sit on him and everything is smooth. He is electric. He has so much speed, that’s his forte” There is no doubt that Canford Cliffs is his sire’s heir apparent.

Tagula, 1993, bay, (Taufan – Twin Island, by Standaan) stands at Rathbarry Stud, Ireland. His 2010 fee was listed as Private (his 2009 fee was €4,000).

Tagula is the best performed son of his sire TAUFAN (Stop The Music – Stolen Date [half-sister to influential mare Best In Show], by Sadar). Taufan, twice a winner on the track and 2nd in the G2 Mill Reef Stakes, had a relatively successful career at stud in Ireland with 23 stakes winners to his credit (including G1 winners TAGULA and TAUFAN’S MELODY – winner of the Caulfield Cup, G1 and 4th in the Melbourne Cup, G1). Taufan is by one of Hail To Reason’s leading sire sons – STOP THE MUSIC (USA). A winner of the Champagne Stakes, G1 and 2nd in the Metropolitan H., G1, Travers Stakes, G1, and the Futurity Stakes, G2, Stop The Music is the sire of 44 stakes winners and was among the leading sires in the USA in 1980.

It is interesting to note that Canford Cliffs is inbred 4f x 7f to the mare Stolen Hour, via her daughters Stolen Date and Best In Show. Best In Show is the 4th dam of Australian Champion Sire REDOUTE’S CHOICE.

Other principal sire sons of Hail To Reason include Halo (USA), Roberto (USA), Mr.Leader (USA) and Bold Reason (USA). Hail To Reason (Turn-to – Nothirdchance, by Blue Swords) was a top-class juvenile with 9 wins, from 5f to 7f. As a sire, Hail To Reason was exceptional. He was among the leading sires in the USA 6 times, including Champion Sire in 1970. He sired and incredible 78% winners/runners and was the sire of 43 stakes winners.

Tagula’s dam Twin Island (Standaan – Jolly Widow, by Busted) is the dam of 5 winners and is a half-sister to the multiple listed winner CAMILLE BLOCH and the multiple G3 winner JOLLY SAINT. Jolly Saint is the dam of 2-time Breeders Cup, G1, winner DA HOSS and is also the dam of the unraced Da River House; dam of G3 winner RIVER PROUD (who placed 2nd in the G2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano, Deauville; and 3rd in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains).

Twin Island’s sire STANDAAN is by the Grey Sovereign sire Zeddaan. In a previous article (an article about Stormy River, a son of Verglas) I have discussed the outstanding Classic credentials of this male line. Standaan was the winner of 5 races, including the G3 Steward’s Cup. He also placed 2nd in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes. Standaan stood in Ireland and New Zealand and his 6 stakes winners included the G1 winners STEELY DAN (NZ 2,000 Guineas, G1 and DB Draught H., G1) and COASTAL BLUFF (Nunthorpe Stakes, G1).

Tagula is an outcross for Northern Dancer and Mr.Prospector line mares.

Canford Cliff’s dam Mrs. Marsh (Marju – Drei, by Lyphard) introduces Northern Dancer blood into the equation (she is inbred to the great sire 4m x 3m via his sons Try My Best and Lyphard). Her sire MARJU, a son of Champion Sprinter Last Tycoon (Try My Best) was a top-class racehorse over 8f to 12f with wins in the St.James’ Palace Stakes, G1 and the Craven Stakes, G3. He placed 2nd in the Epsom Derby, G1.

At stud Marju tends to sire progressive types but has also sired some top-class 2yr olds. His top performers include 4-time G1 winning filly SOVIET SONG (Sussex Stakes, Goodwood, 8f, G1, Falmouth Stakes, Newmarket, 8f,G1 (Twice), Matron Stakes, Leopardstown, 8f,G1, Meon Valley Stud Fillies Mile G1). To-date he has sired over 40 stakes winners, including 8 individual G1 winners (or 7 if you don’t wish to include Japanese multiple G1 winner VIVA PATACA). In 2010 Marju has had 3 G1 winners with CHINCHON scoring in the US, BETHRAH scoring in Ireland and VIVA PATACA scoring at the highest level in Japan.

Marju is a half-brother to the 5-time G1 winning Champion filly SALSABIL (Sadler’s Wells). Salsabil won at the highest level over distances from 8f to 12f and one of her career highlights was winning the Irish Derby, G1, in 1990 (the first filly in 90 years to achieve that feat).

Their dam, FLAME OF TARA (Artaius – Welsh Flame, by Welsh Pagent), was herself a top-class racemare with wins in the Pretty Polly S., G2, Coronation S., G2, and Athasi S., G3. She also placed 2nd in the Champion Stakes, G1. Flame of Tara was Joint Top-Rated 3YO Filly in Ireland in 1983. At stud she is the dam of 11 winners.

Marju, brown, 1988, 16.0HH, Last Tycoon – Flame of Tara, by Artaius stood at Derrinstown Stud in Ireland (he is now pensioned). His 2010 fee was €20,000.

Canford Cliff’s 2nd dam, Drei (Lyphard – Triple Tipple, by Raise A Cup) is the dam of PINA COLADA (Sabrehill), who is a stakes winner in the US.

Drei is a daughter of the multiple G1 winner and Champion Sire on both sides of the Atlantic; LYPHARD (Northern Dancer – Goofed, by Court Martial). Small in stature (like his famous sire) Lyphard sired 115 stakes winners and his numerous champions included DANCING BRAVE, timeform rated 140.

Lyphard was Champion Broodmare Sire in France in 1985 and 1986 and was also among the leading broodmare sires in the US on several occassions. In all, his daughters produced 204 stakes winners.

Canford Cliffs’ third dam, TRIPLE TIPPLE (Raise A Cup – Ameridouble, by Nodouble) was a well-performed racemare, racing in England, France and the US during her career. As well as multiple Group/Graded wins, Triple Tipple placed 2nd in the Gamely H., G1. She is also a half-sister to stakes winners PALE PURPLE and TAPSTRESS.

A £50,000 yearling purchase, Canford Cliffs has developed into one of the finest European milers that we have seen in recent times. He is a gorgeous looking individual with a near impeccable race record. Up until now many may have dismissed his pedigree as being a bit “light”. Well, with Coolmore Stud now on board, it suddenly seems to have more substance. What’s not to like about Canford Cliffs?