Monday 16 July 2018

Watching Brief...

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.

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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