Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Highland's the Reel Deal for Ascot Win

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Highland's the Reel Deal for Ascot Win

Article excerpt

HIGHLAND Reel can successfully drop back in trip to take the Prince of Wales's Stakes, the headline event on day two of Royal Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien's runner is unquestionably a top performer at 12 furlongs, but he has yet to really establish his Group One credentials over a mile and a quarter. However, the five-year-old can change that perception by winning at Ascot and completing a quickfire double following his Coronation Cup verdict at the start of the month.

Highland Reel had to work hard for victory at Epsom, with Frontiersman challenging in the shadow of the post, but he hung on for a length-and-three-quarters win which banished memories of his disappointing trip to Dubai back in March.

He finished last of seven behind the re-opposing Jack Hobbs on that occasion, but the unexpectedly yielding ground was certainly against him that day and the real Highland Reel is far better than that.

The 10-furlong trip is a question mark, but he did win the 2015 Secretariat Stakes in America over the distance and Ryan Moore certainly knows how to win from the front with this horse and should judge his fractions to perfection.

Qemah can atone for a shock defeat at Lingfield last month with victory in the Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

Jean-Claude Rouget's filly hit the mark in the Coronation Stakes at this meeting last year before going on to add the Prix Rothschild to her CV.

She was perhaps just feeling the effects of a long season that kicked off with a win in April when beaten by Alice Springs in the Matron Stakes and was widely expected to make a victorious 2017 bow in a Lingfield Group Three.

Rouget made no secret of the fact that was merely a prep outing for this event, but it was still disappointing to see her beaten by two and a quarter lengths by Mix And Mingle, who got a peach of a ride from Moore.

That said, Qemah did not enjoy the clearest of passages and Frankie Dettori was far from hard on her in the finish, so it would be dangerous to discount her claims here. …

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