Richard Hannon warmed up for the Duel on the Downs and warned the Frankel camp: We’re coming for you.
The Wiltshire trainer confirmed reigning champion Canford Cliffs has completed his preparations for today’s eagerly-anticipated Group 1 Sussex Stakes (3.15pm).
Having already lowered the colours of supermare Goldikova this season – in the Queen Anne Stakes – Hannon is now targeting victory over unbeaten three-year-old miler Frankel on day two of Glorious Goodwood.
The clash has caught the imagination of the whole racing public, with fans clamouring to see who will be crowned Europe’s best over eight furlongs.
And the wait is almost over.
Hannon said: ‘Canford Cliffs has completed his preparation and everything has gone smoothly.
‘We have done all the talking and now Henry (Cecil, trainer of Frankel) and I will leave it to the two horses.
‘Obviously, tactics will play an important part but I’ll leave that to Hughesie (jockey Richard Hughes). He knows Canford Cliffs better than anyone.
‘We have a lot of respect for Frankel but we know the strengths of our horse and, hopefully, we will be the ones celebrating afterwards.
‘We took the scalp of Goldikova and now we are after Frankel – it doesn’t come any better than this.’
Much of the talk prior to the race has revolved around tactics.
Many expect Frankel, who will be in receipt of 8lb from his older rival, to make the running, especially given the small field.
But jockey Tom Queally is refusing to show his hand – instead, he is simply hoping the best horse wins.
‘A lot has been written and said about tactics but we have options with Frankel,’ said Queally. ‘In the end, I am sure it will be a case of the best horse winning.
‘You dream of riding in Group 1 races – let alone winning them.
‘I have been lucky enough to win 14 so far and I’m sincerely hoping Frankel can be number 15.
‘He hasn’t met a horse of Canford Cliffs’ calibre before so this will tell us where he ranks among all the milers around today.
‘There will be a huge crowd and it should be a great spectacle.’
Today’s card gets under way at (2pm) and the last race goes to post at 5.30pm.Gates open at 11am.