Cox Plate Placer Highland Reel Ready for King George at Ascot England
There will be a big race at Ascot this weekend, but not the Ascot racecourse in Perth, the Ascot racecourse in the town of the same name in Berkshire, England.
The race will be the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a 2,414 metre event for horses three years of age and older that is considered to be Britain’s most prestigious flat race.
International champion Highland Reel will be the runner for trainer Aidan O’Brien and another of his horses, Sire Isaac Newton is at the track, but in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, O’Brien indicated that only Highland Reel would participate.
Highland Reel has five wins from 14 starts, including the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at the same 2,400 m distance and has also won the 2,000 m Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Virginia.
He raced in the 2015 W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, but Winx and Criterion finished ahead of him.
O’Brien, the recent winner of a fifth Irish Oaks the week past, has won the King George on three previous occasions, including 2001, when it was Highland Reel’s sire Galileo that won. He prepared Dylan Thomas in 2007 and Duke of Marmalade in 2008.
Those three wins place O’Brien two in arrears of three trainers who have won the race five times: Dick Hern, Sir Michael Stoute and Saeed bin Suroor.