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Highland Reel is Early Epsom Derby Favorite

Highland Reel is Early Epsom Derby Favorite

12.08.2014, by Jim
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The 2015 Epsom Derby is almost a year away but the British sporting press has already anointed a favorite in the United Kingdom’s biggest horse racing event. Following an impressive performance in the Group 2 Veuve Clicquot Stakes the Aidan O’Brien trained Highland Reel is not only the Epsom Derby betting favorite but the horse of the moment for the European sporting press.

Off of a dominating win at Gowran Park earlier this season Highland Reel looked very strong over 7 furlongs as he hung with a fast field before pulling away late for the victory. Trainer O’Brien says that one of the most impressive things about Highland Reel is his versatility:

“Highland Reel could have gone for a winners’ race at Naas over six next week, even though he won over a mile last time. He is not short of pace and only ran over a mile last time because it fitted in well.”

Additionally, O’Brien likes Highland Reel for his temperament–he’s not a stereotypical high strung race horse:

“He is a horse who learns quick and he will have learnt a lot here. He travelled well, quickened and went through the line strong. Joseph said it was hard to pull him up. He could go to the Futurity or National Stakes next. All those type of races are open to him.”

Based in Ireland, Highland Reel is the son of Galileo and was a 460,000gns purchase at the Tattersalls sales last October. He is out of the successful broodmare Hveger and a half brother to Valdemoro, a dual Group 1 runner-up in Australia known for his stamina. Trainer O’Brien’s son Joseph is Highland Reel’s rider and is as impressed with him as his dad:

“He is a well-balanced horse and I was always confident through the race. He travels very well and loved the fast ground. He is in all the big seven-furlong two-year-old races, including the National Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes. All those races are options and he is an exciting colt for the future.”

And he’s definitely become the darling of the British horse racing press as well as being the 10/1 early favorite in Epsom Derby betting.

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