/ Racing

Highland Reel vanquishes Vintage Stakes rivals

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 23:38 | Comments

Highland Reel is a top-price 12-1 for the 2014 Derby
Highland Reel is a top-price 12-1 for the 2014 Derby

Aidan O'Brien's Highland Reel is the clear favourite for next year’s Investec Derby after recording an authoritative victory in the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Sent off the 10-11 favourite after winning by 12 lengths at Gowran on his latest outing over a mile, he was dropping a furlong in trip.

Mark Johnston's Pallister attempted to make all, but Joseph O'Brien's mount appeared a huge threat with two furlongs to run and the son of Galileo went impressively clear.

Richard Hannon's Tupi stayed on nicely to claim second, some two and a quarter lengths away, with Room Key third.

The winning trainer said: "He was a very impressive winner of his maiden the last day and Joseph was very happy with him. He said he had a lot of speed.

"This race just fell really nicely. The spacing of the race worked out just lovely.

"He has a lot of speed and a lot of natural energy.

"He's by Galileo and they can be classy and sharp. Joseph travelled well into the straight and then went to the line very strong."

The Ballydoyle trainer outlined possible plans for Highland Reel.

"Obviously he has lots of options, the Futurity and the National Stakes would be two of them," he said.

Snow Sky gave trainer Michael Stoute his eighth Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes in the first of the significant St Leger trials, holding on by a neck and a head from the closing Windshear and the determined front-runner Somewhat.

Snow Sky (9-2), who won the Lingfield Derby trial but missed Epsom due to a knock, struggled to run straight and true for James Doyle but did enough to hold on.

Doyle and Abdullah were to enjoy an even bigger victory later in the afternoon through Kingman in the Qipco Sussex Stakes.

Teddy Grimthorpe, the owner's racing manager, said: "I think he possibly saw that kink in the rail by the winning post, but he changed his legs and stayed on.

"The great man (Stoute) isn't here today, so I'll have to talk to him, but I'd have thought the Voltigeur at York would be an option and we'll take it from there."

Asked about the St Leger, Grimthorpe said: "He's got stamina in his pedigree and he stays a mile and a half. There's always an element of chance when they have to go further than that."

Trainer Mark Johnston, responsible for the third-placed Somewhat, who took the same place in the Coral-Eclipse, said: "Joe (Fanning) felt maybe he could have gone a bit quicker, but there are no complaints.

"As soon as he passed the line I tried to remember if he had a Leger entry, he does, and we'll have to look that way.

"Hartnell is likely to go to the Voltigeur, so we'll have a think what we do with Somewhat."

Royal Razalma (10-1) had some experience on the board already but she took a big leap forward when bounding clear in the Markel Insurance Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

Trainer Jonny Portman said: "The only surprise that has come in her career was that she ran badly first-time-out at Newbury. We've always liked her and it's all worked out very well. My only concern was the ground, and I suppose we'll take another step up the ladder now."

Teak and Silvestre De Sousa caused a 33-1 upset in the marathon Goodwood Stakes and trainer Ian Williams plans to have the sound stayer back hurdling in the autumn.

Magique signed off on a fine note by causing another surprise, this time at 25-1, in the EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Fillies' Handicap.

Trainer Jeremy Noseda said: "It's the last start of her career, she's in foal to Leroidesanimaux, and it's a great finish. Jimmy Fortune was brilliant, that was as good a ride as you'll see."

The concluding Turf Club Handicap went the way of 6-1 shot Related, trained by David Simcock and ridden by Richard Kingscote.

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