Magnier, Tabor and Smith’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI) hero Highland Reel, who may be the most well-traveled racehorse in the world, having been to America, the Far East and Australia, returned home to Great Britain and captured the richest race of the current Royal Ascot meeting, taking top honors by 1 ¼ lengths in the £750,000 (approximately $950,600) Prince of Wales’s Stakes (GI) on Wednesday afternoon over the Berkshire, England, oval
With regular jockey Ryan Moore aboard, the Aiden O’Brien-trained son of Galileo, who left the gate at odds of more than 2-1, held off the late challenge from 10-1 outsider Decorated Knight, while 9-2 chance Ulysses checked in another short head behind the runner-up to claim third. Favored Jack Hobbs finished last of eight in the about 1 ¼-mile turf feature.
“I’d say that was probably a career best,” jockey Ryan Moore said.
Highland Reel picked up his sixth Group 1, to go along with his Breeders’ Cup score, the 2015 Secretariat Stakes, Longines Hong Kong Vase, Qipco King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Investec Coronation Stakes. Overall his record now stands at 23-9-6-1.
The winner’s check of 425,325 pounds ($540,000) moved Highland Reel’s earnings to 5.97 million pounds ($7.55 million). It was a first win of the 2017 meeting for O’Brien, and the trainer’s 56th at Royal Ascot.
“He has passed every test that you would want a thoroughbred to go through,” O’Brien said. “His first Group race was as a 2-year-old and we have toured the world with him since then. Every time, he turns up in big races over a mile, 10 furlongs and 12 furlongs.”