Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon has confirmed that the Moonee Valley Racing Club have issued Highland Reel an invitation to contest the 2015 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Highland Reel was included in the 2015 Cox Plate nominations that were released earlier this month and he stamped himself as a leading contender for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship when he recorded a dominant five and a half lengths victory in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes (2012m) at Arlington on August 15 – the same race that was won by Adelaide last year.
Jordon told Racing Ahead that Highland Reel would follow the same path as Adelaide and head to France for the Group 2 Prix Niel (2400m) at Longchamp, but he is hopeful that Aidan O’Brien and other connections will then decide to bring the Galileo colt to Australia for the 2015 Cox Plate.
“It was a great win,” Jordon said.
“He is obviously following in the footsteps of Adelaide and I am pleased to that the Moonee Valley Racing Club have issued an invite to Highland Reel to come over for the Cox Plate.
“I will hopefully be talking to Aidan and the camp in the next few days to see what their thoughts are, but hopefully we can follow in the footsteps of Adelaide and see him out here.
“They will go the Prix Niel and make a decision from there, but they had a pretty good experience here with Adelaide last year we are hoping that he will be able to come out.”
Highland Reel made his racing debut with a second place finish in a maiden at June last year and he claimed his maiden race win in dominant fashion at Gowran Park on July 1 and he took out the Group 2 Vintage Stakes (1408m) at Goodwood on July 30.
The colt was competitive in the Group 1 Prix Le Parisien (1600m) at Longchamp on May 10 and he finished second in the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club (2100m) at Chantilly on May 31, but failed to fire as favourite in the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m) at Curragh on June 27.
Highland Reel returned to winning form with a strong effort in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2414m) at Goodwood on July 29 before his Secretariat Stakes romp on the weekend.
Highland Reel is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $13 with Ladbrokes and he is on the third line of betting behind Arod ($10) and Contributer ($10).