Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
HIGHLAND REEL returns to Ascot on Saturday where he is taken to secure another big prize by winning the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes for a second time.
At his last start at Royal Ascot in June the Aidan O’Brien-trained entire landed the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, as predicted by Horse Talk, to boost his earnings to over £6million in a sublime career that has seen him secure six Group 1s in three different continents.
The five-year-old has continuously been campaigned at the highest level. Last season he also won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, between finishing second in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and runner-up in the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
Earlier this season he produced a tenacious display to win the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom and O’Brien admits that he is looking forward to Saturday’s race.
“Highland Reel is another incredible horse. He’s tactically very quick, he’s very like his dad [Galileo]. He stays well, but is also very quick out the gates, very good to get a position and he would absolutely die for you. It’s incredible, he’s so genuine,” O’Brien said.
“He handles fast ground, mile and a quarter to a mile and a half. He’s travelled the world and has an unbelievable constitution. He is a typical example of what his dad was. So he’s very clear winded, very sound and has a great mind. On the big day, on the big races, you see he gets his blood up when he needs to. And when he doesn’t, he’s relaxed. He’s a great horse.
“If everything is well then we would really look forward to the King George. High summer, fast ground, a mile and half is really what he loves.
“It’s a very prestigious race, the King George, and I think because it’s a tough race sometimes three-year olds haven’t gone there. But that’s what makes it as good as it is, is when those really special three-year olds come along.
“If it was an easy race to win, it would lose its prestige and value. So if anyone sees a three-year old and they can compete and win a King George, it’s extra special. Even to have a four-year old win it, like with Highland Reel last year, is special and so important to his CV.”
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.