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Featured as a Breednet ‘One to Watch’ when he won his maiden at Gowran Park by 12 lengths, two year-old Galileo colt Highland Reel (Pictured: Michael Stevens Twitter) cemented his potential overnight when scoring a dominant win in the Group II Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien for Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier and Michael Tabor, Highland Reel is from Australian bred Group I place-getter Hveger.
Partnered by Joseph O’Brien, Highland Reel showed a fine turn of foot to accelerate away and win the seven furlong contest by more than two lengths joining an impressive list of past winners including subsequent Group I winners Olympic Glory and Toronado.
"Highland Reel could have gone for a winners’ race at Naas over six next week, even though he won over a mile last time. He is not short of pace and only ran over a mile last time because it fitted in well,” said Aidan O’Brien.
"He is a horse who learns quick and he will have learnt a lot today. He travelled well, quickened and went through the line strong. Joseph (O’Brien, jockey) said it was hard to pull him up.
"He could go to the G2 Futurity Stakes or G1 National Stakes next. All those type of races are open to him.”
Joseph O’Brien was impressed with colt, who is now 12/1 favourite for the 2015 2,000 Guineas and Derby.
"He is a well-balanced horse and I was always confident through the race. He travels very well and loved the fast ground,” he said.
"He is in all the big seven-furlong two-year-old races, including the G1 National Stakes and the G1 Dewhurst Stakes. All those races are options and he is an exciting colt for the future.”
With two wins and a second from three starts, Highland Reel was a 460,000 guinea purchase from the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and is a half-brother to Group I VRC Oaks runner-up Valdemoro from Hveger, who was sent to stud in the Northern Hemisphere in 2009.
Highland Reel is her second colt by Galileo, the first is an unraced three year-old called Rings of Saturn.
A daughter of champion sire Danehill, Hveger comes from one of Australia’s best families as she is a sibling to multiple Group I winners Elvstroem and Haradasun, while champion sprinter and sire sensation Starspangledbanner is another member of the clan.
Story by Tara MadgwickBack