Highland Reel (left) and Sir Isaac Newton (white cap) head to York
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 1:45PM 13 AUG 2016
HIGHLAND REEL will bid to further boost his burgeoning reputation at York on Wednesday with trainer Aidan O’Brien set to rely on him and Sir Isaac Newton in the Group 1 Juddmonte International.
A dual Group 1-winner last year as a three-year-old, Highland Reel stepped forward this year to narrowly miss out on winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot before going on to land the King George in style under Ryan Moore last month.
Stablemate Sir Isaac Newton scored both the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot and the Group 3 International Stakes at the Curragh before finishing fourth to Highland Reel in the King George.
Postponed is the general evens favourite for the York Group 1 after missing the King George due to an unsatisfactory scope, and Highland Reel is set to be the first string from Ballydoyle in opposition to Postponed, with US Army Ranger likely to be saved for the Royal Whip.
O’Brien said: “We are thinking that Highland Reel and Sir Isaac Newton might be our main runners in the Juddmonte. We’re very happy with both since their last run.
“We are very happy with Highland Reel’s progress. I think he is very versatile trip-wise – a mile and a quarter is very comfortable for him. He has top form on both grounds – soft and fast ground. Obviously, he is a very good mover and you’d like a nice bit of ground for him.”
He added: “Sir Isaac Newton is a solid horse. He ran a big race in the King George and is a horse who’s progressing all the time.”
O’Brien has saddled six winners of the Juddmonte International, most recently claiming back-to-back victories with Declaration Of War in 2013 and Australia in 2014.