Frankel out to prove himself against older and wiser foe in Canford Cliffs

The waiting is over and the scene set for the tumultuous clash between Canford Cliffs and Frankel in the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood today.

In a year of eagerly anticipated races, this Group One between the champion older miler and the unbeaten Classic winner tops the lot.

Will it be a case of the three-year-old coming out on top in receipt of a handy weight allowance as proved the case with Nathaniel in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes? Or will Canford Cliffs make history by repeating last year's victory to become the first horse ever to win this race more than once?

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With the big two having frightened off most of the opposition only four runners will go to post, meaning that tactics could have a big say in the outcome. However, Frankel's jockey Tom Queally is unfazed by that.

"There will be a huge crowd and it should be a great spectacle, despite there only being four runners, with the big two horses frightening off the others, but it makes no difference to me.

"Frankel has shown he's the best three-year-old around and now he has to prove it against older horses, namely Canford Cliffs. He hasn't met a horse of that calibre before so this will tell us where he ranks among all the milers around today."

Frankel's trainer Sir Henry Cecil, who has trained five winners of the Sussex, said: "Anything can happen and there is no such thing as a certainty.

"There is nothing wrong with them (Canford Cliffs connections] saying what they feel as long as they interest everybody. I can understand that. Everybody is very excited about the race and it's important for racing, so they are doing nothing wrong.

"I personally prefer to keep quiet and let the horse do the talking. Let's hope he does."

Frankel carries the famous colours of Khalid Abdullah, whose racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe added: "He's had a very smooth, straightforward preparation throughout the year and he looks in great nick, but he'll need to be.

"All I can say is we're very pleased with how the horse is, with how he's come on and how he's trained, his attitude, all of that marks him out as a very special horse. We've always been very positive about this horse before every race he has gone into so nothing has changed.

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"He's still got to beat older horses. The horse speaks better than I do. He was an exceptional two-year-old and looks like being an exceptional three-year-old if he continues, he's right up there anyway. "

The trainer of Canford Cliffs, Richard Hannon believes the four-year-old is now at his peak. He said: "Unfortunately, one of them will be beaten. It will be very interesting to see what happens.

"If there are any weaknesses in Canford Cliffs, I haven't found them. Once (jockey] Richard (Hughes] had Canford Cliffs settled as a three-year-old, it all happened from there. He is probably at his peak now. He is a strong horse and going well. In a small field, you just wonder where the pace will come from but whatever Richard does in the race is OK with me - he knows the horse better than anybody else."The only thing that would worry me is that last year he did not like coming down the hill at Goodwood particularly well but he is a year older now and a more mature horse."

Hughes has been well beaten on Dubawi Gold by Frankel this season but says Canford Cliffs looks better than ever. He added: "No matter what you follow, he will go by it - you feel he will go by anything. He travelled so easy at Royal Ascot. Head-to-head at the furlong pole would be nice and then the best horse will win."

Canford Cliffs defeated French wonder mare Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Her trainer Freddie Head has shown he is not frightened of the big two as he takes them on with Rajsaman. The four-year-old beat Byword on his reappearance at Saint-Cloud in May and was only a length behind Goldikova when third in the Prix D'Ispahan later that month.

"He's very well but whether he's good enough is another story," said Head.

The final contender is the Godolphin-owned six-year-old Rio De La Plata who was beaten five lengths when fourth to Canford Cliffs at Royal Ascot.