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Highland Reel all set for Vintage performance

Highland Reel looked a colt out of the top drawer when winning his maiden in runwaway style and can land today’s Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood (3.40) enroute to better things.

The Aidan O’Brien trained two-year-old looked in need of the win when going down by just 3/4 of a length to Tombelaine on debut at Leopardstown, and duly showed the benefit of that experience when slamming Taqaseem by 12 lengths at Gowran Park.

The beautifully bred son of Galileo was only a moderate third three furlong from home, but quickly made up ground on the bridle and shot clear a furlong out to win easing down despite drifting left.

The third home Hall Of Fame has since come out and won a strong looking maiden at Leopardstown from Highland Reel’s highly-touted stable companion John F Kennedy, and that give sthe form a really solid look.

Highland Reel also looks the type who will improve with racing, and if that proves to be the case he is going to be very hard to beat.

The Richard Hannon team has won the last four renewals of the race and are represented by Tupi and Dr No.

The former overcame greenness whne making a winning debut at Sandown, and looks the pick of the pair given that he is the choice of stable jockey Richard Hughes.

The son of Tamayuz looks a nice prospect, but whether he is up to winning in this grade at this stage of his career is questionable.
A main danger to Highland Reel could well be the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Ahlan Emarati.

The son of Holy Roman Emperor won on debut at Bath and has since shown progressive form to finish third in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and a solid runner-up to Kool Komnpany in the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh.

Ahlan Emarati is clearly going the right way, and with Jamie Spencer in the saddle and Group form in the book, commands the utmost respect.