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Highland Reel primed for Hong Kong Vase
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The Irish Field
Highland Reel primed for Hong Kong Vase
on 06 December 2017
Highland Reel is set out to recapture the title he lifted in 2015 as the six-time Group 1 winner is poised to step up his preparations for Sunday's Longines Hong Kong Vase

Highland Reel is poised to step up his preparations for Sunday's Longines Hong Kong Vase on Thursday.

The six-time Group 1 winner is out to recapture the title he lifted in 2015, and is one of a handful of contenders for Aidan O'Brien across the card, including Lancaster Bomber and Roly Poly.

Referring to Highland Reel, travelling head lad Pat Keating said: "He's in good form, as they all are. It's possible they'll go on the turf on Thursday, I'll wait to hear what the boss (O'Brien) decides."

Fellow Irishman David Casey has travelled over with Willie Mullins' Max Dynamite, who is looking to improve on his excellent run in the Melbourne Cup when tackling the Vase.

Casey said: "He's in good order. He's so relaxed, he's almost on the horizontal."

Danehill Kodiac's owners admit they are already in bonus territory ahead of Sunday's race at Sha Tin.

Bought as a potential hurdler, the Richard Hannon-trained four-year-old won a Group 3 at Ascot in October.

With the quicker ground expected to suit this weekend, part-owner Andy Smith is still pinching himself.

"This horse owes us nothing especially as we bought him with hurdling in mind, yet he's only gone and won a Group 3 at Ascot - beating a horse who was placed in the French Derby," said Smith.

"Our horse is really tough and loves to eyeball other horses. We also think the surface will suit him better than the slow ground that he's been racing on most of this year."

Andre Fabre's Talismanic was successful at the Breeders' Cup so is used to the travelling.

Godolphin's representative in France, Lisa-Jane Graffard, said: "He seems in good form and is really just his normal self.

"He is a good traveller with a good temperament and both Richard (Lambert, travelling head lad) and Vincent (champion, work rider) are really happy with him. He is following the same sort of programme as he did in America."

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