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Highland Reel Rated Highly For Cox Plate
Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter believes that Irish colt Highland Reel is rated to give Aidan O'Brien successive victories in the Cox Plate should connections decide to target the race, reports Racing.com. Carpenter has assessed Highland Reel as having an international handicap rating of 118 for winning Sunday's Gr1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in the US, the same race won by Coolmore galloper Adelaide en route to his 2014 Cox Plate victory. "This was the race that Adelaide won last year in slightly slower time when coming from off the pace," Carpenter told RSN radio yesterday. "This year, Highland Reel led, dictated and then, when they balanced up, ran really impressively and won by five lengths." He added: "Highland Reel gave Closing Bell [runner-up] 1kg and beat him by 5.25 lengths so that is at least 12 rating points higher than the second horse. If I had Closing Bell at 106 then that would give Highland Reel 118. As we know from experience, if you can run to 118 then you will most likely finish in the top three in the Cox Plate." Highland Reel has been invited by the Moonee Valley Racing Club to contest the Cox Plate but O'Brien will likely confirm plans after the colt runs in the Gr2 Prix Niel (2400m) at Longchamp next month. By Coolmore's champion sire Galileo, Highland Reel is out of the Gr1-placed Australian mare Hveger (Danehill), a full-sister to multiple Gr1 winner Elvstroem and a half-sister to fellow multiple Gr1 scorer Haradasun from Australian Oaks heroine Circles Of Gold. This is also the family of sub-fertile but brilliant young sire Starspangledbanner and Golden Slipper winner Polar Success.