Wednesday 7 December 2016

Watching Brief...

Published 10/10/2015 | 02:30

Aidan O'Brien sent his two Melbourne Cup contenders on their way this week but of more interest right now is his Cox Plate raider.

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Highland Reel is poised to represent the Ballydoyle wizard in the 10-furlong Group One in a fortnight's time. He can be backed at odds of 10/1, which seems quite generous.

It's hard to quantify those that precede him in the betting, but they look solid without being spectacular.

As a rule, European middle-distance horses would be superior to those in the southern hemisphere, a point highlighted by Adelaide's dramatic Cox win for O'Brien and Ryan Moore in 2014.

Highland Reel is possibly a better horse than Adelaide.

Both won the Secretariat Stakes in Arlington en route to Oz, but Highland Reel had the quality to finish second to New Bay in a French Derby. He also ran an absolute blinder when fifth to the mighty Golden Horn in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Moreover, as a horse that likes to front-run, the Galileo colt could prove especially well suited to Mooney Valley's tight, cambered circuit.

Irish Independent

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