Highland Reel is currently available at 2015 Cox Plate odds of $5 and he has opened as favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 event that will be held at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Highland Reel has performed at the highest level since he took out the Group 2 Vintage Stakes (1408m) at Goodwood in just his third race start and he was placed behind New Bay in the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club (2100m) at Chantilly on May 31.
The Galileo colt produced a flat effort behind Jack Hobbs in the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m) at Curragh on June 27, but he returned to winning form in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2414m) at Goodwood on July 29 and he scored a dominant five lengths win in the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes (2012m) at Arlington in the United States on August 15.
Highland Reel could finish no better than fifth in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes (2011m), but he was far from disgraced against some of the best horses in the world like Golden Horn and Free Eagle.
Coolmore assistant trainer TJ Comerford told the media yesterday that Highland Reel has done everything right since arriving in Australia and he believes that there are plenty of similarities between the colt and last year’s Cox Plate winner Adelaide.
“Highland Reel is in good form,” Comerford said.
“He has settled in well and he has had pretty much the same preparation as he has had for all his races.
“This fellow is pretty much a similar horse to Adelaide, he has a good attitude, the form is in the book and he is there to take his chance.
“I know that things can go wrong and you need a bit of luck, but with Adelaide last year and Highland Reel this year, there is probably not much between them.
“He is a very laidback horse, he does everything very easy and he is back to where he should be.
“He is in great shape.”
Criterion stamped himself as a leading Cox Plate contender when he swept home from the tail of the field to take out the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 10 and he is currently on the second line of betting with Ladbrokes at a quote of $6.
Winx is another horse that is set to take winning form into the Cox Plate field following her memorable victory in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and was allocated the inside barrier this morning, but has drifted slightly out to $7.50.
Arod continues to fly under the radar ahead of the Cox Plate, but he remains on the fourth line of betting at $8, while George Main Stakes winner Kermadec is the only other horse that is currently available at single figure Cox Plate odds.
You can claim the best Cox Plate odds with leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Odds +20% on every single race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.