A remarkable few days for leading first-season sire Canford Cliffs continued at Ascot on Friday when the Richard Hannon-trained Wall Of Fire (2c Canford Cliffs-Bright Sapphire, by Galileo) scored on his debut.
A 270,000gns yearling bred by Ben Sangster, Wall Of Fire overcame rain-softened ground and some highly-regarded opposition to win when making most of the running in the six-furlong contest.
“He is a nice horse but we will look after him this year,” Hannon told PA Sport. “To his credit, he is a tough horse to do that first time out in conditions like that on his first time of asking. He has a lovely attitude but he was a bit lazy in front. When he (jockey Richard Hughes) gave him a couple of belts that did him good.”
Wall Of Fire continued an unforgettable week for his sire. Two days earlier Mick Channon sent out Cuppatee (2f Canford Cliffs-Fanditha, by Danehill Dancer) to win at Catterick, 24 hours after the David O’Meara-trained Poplar Close (2f Canford Cliffs-Magena, by Kingmambo) scored at Musselburgh.
On Monday, the David Elsworth-trained Justice Lass (2f Canford Cliffs-Dibiya, by Caerleon) struck in a Windsor maiden while the previous day, Canford Cliffs had doubled up at Maisons-Laffitte.
Al Shaqab Racing’s newcomer Al Jazi (2f Canford Cliffs-Rainbow Crossing, by Cape Cross) won a six-furlong maiden and Pitou (2f Canford Cliffs-La Suvera, by Choisir) scored for Fabrice Chappet.
Canford Cliffs is now odds-on favourite to be leading first-season sire of 2015. RaceBets cut the Coolmore sire from 5/4 to 4/6 to take the title.