Galileo’s Highland Reel Brilliant in Hong Kong Vase
Mark Smith – Sunday, 13 December 2015
Third behind Winx in the Group 1 WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley at his most recent start, Coolmore’s world-traveller Highland Reel (IRE) proved too strong for the favourite Flintshire (IRE) in Sunday’s Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
In an all European finish, Highland Reel (IRE) (Galileo) was always up on the speed before unleashing a brilliant burst of acceleration under Ryan Moore to defeat last year’s winner Flintshire (IRE) (Dansili) by one and a quarter lengths with the Aga Khan’s Dariyan (FR) (Shamardal) the same distance back in third. (photo Grant Courtney).
The 3yo son of Galileo provided champion trainer by Aidan O’Brien with his first winner in Hong Kong after coming away empty handed 14 times previously.
It was also the first time a 3yo had claimed the Vase.
Australian representative Preferment was always well back and it did not help when he was pushed three-wide. The son of Zabeel was one paced in the straight, finishing seven and three-quarter of a length from the winner in seventh place.
In a busy season that has taken in races in Ireland, France, England, America, Australia and now Hong Kong, Highland Reel won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington on September 12.
His overall record stands at 5 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third from 11 starts.
Being a son of the Group I SAJC Australasian Oaks third Hveger, Highland Reel has been on the Breednet radar since he broke his maiden as a two year-old at Gowran Park in Ireland by 12 lengths.
A daughter of Danehill, Hveger produced two foals in Australia indulging Group I VRC Oaks placegetter Valdemoro before her export to Ireland.
A sister to multiple Group I winner Elvstroem and half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Haradasun, Hveger is out of the wonderful Marscay mare Circles of Gold, herself the winner of the Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks at Randwick.
Highland Reel made 460,000 guineas at the 2013 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.