Highland Reel bows out with G1 win

Fans watch the 2016 Hong Kong International Races

Fans watch the 2016 Hong Kong International Races

Highland Reel has collected his seventh Group One and ended his stellar career on a massive high with a courageous win in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.

It was the second win in the 2400m-race for the Aidan O'Brien-trained Highland Reel who was successful in 2015 after running third to Winx in the Cox Plate.

Highland Reel beat Talismanic by 1-3/4 lengths with Japanese horse Tosen Basil another three-quarters of a length third. "He dug in over the last furlong and I thought he was comfortable and going away at the finish", Moore said. He's been a brilliant racehorse, and there's plenty to look forward to at stud now.

Highland Reel stalked the pace-setting Helene Charisma, with Godolphin's Talismanic a tracking third.

As Willie Mullins's outsider Max Dynamite failed to land a blow, Highland Reel struck for home before the straight, a deliberate move by Ryan Moore to try and stretch Talismanic.

"He's always been a very straightforward horse and he gets the trip very well".

Irish horse Highland Reel has made his last start a winning one, taking out the Hong Kong Vase.

"I was always happy and always confident", Moore said of Highland Reel's run.

"He's a very special horse - he's irreplaceable, really", O'Brien said. It's very rare that you get a horse that can travel like him. He's been doing it since he was a two-year-old - he won the G2 Champagne (Stakes) at Goodwood as a two-year-old and he's travelled the world in the meantime, so an incredible horse, really.

"He's irreplaceable for us at home but we were lucky to hold onto him as a five-year-old, we were lucky to get another year out of him; a horse like him is irreplaceable". "He's a very, very good horse, his record shows that, and it's been a delight to be a part of [his career]".

Following a hugely successful racing career during which he has been trainer Aidan O'Brien's top money earning horse in both 2016 and 2017, Highland Reel, who ran in Ireland, Britain, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai and the United States of America, will soon begin his new career as a Coolmore Stud stallion.

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