Australians a Highlight on Day 3 of Royal Ascot
Written on the 23 June 2017
It's the week of the Royal Ascot, one of the most prestigious racing events in Great Britain, dating back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. Every year this event is attended by Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family. It is a major event in the British social calendar, with press coverage of the attendees' outfits often exceeding coverage of the actual racing. Despite the fashion being a highlight, everyone is there for the racing which includes 30 races covering lengths of around 1000 metres up to 4,370 metres at the Queen Alexandra Stakes, being held this Saturday. In 2016, total prize money across the five days of Royal Ascot was 6,580,000 pounds.
Australian's have been flying the flag at Royal Ascot Wednesday and Thursday with one of Australia's great damline's being at the fore of racing.
While we were sleeping Wednesday night, Highland Reel, won the Prince of Wales Stakes. He is from Australian bred Group 1 placed Danehill mare Hvegar, a full sister to champion galloper Elvstroem and half-sister to Royal Ascot Group 1 winner and champion miler Haradasun from Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks winner Circles of Gold.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien described Highland Reel as made of concrete after the 5yo refused to be beaten in an exhilarating finish at Wednesday's Group 1 Prince Of Wales' Stakes over 1 mile and 2 furlongs.
"What can I say? Unbelievable. Highland Reel has pace, courage, tactical speed; he's an amazing horse, he's concrete," O'Brien said.
"He has a super mind, a lot of class and unbelievably brave. He's passed all the tests all the way, he has everything."
Third behind Winx and Criterion in the 2015 Cox Plate, Highland Reel finished runner-up in the Group II Hardwicke Stakes at this meeting last year but has since won three Group 1's around the world including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Highland Reel has now won six times at Group 1 level with jockey Ryan Moore highly praising the 5yo.
"Highland Reel has been everywhere and he keeps coming back. I'd say that's probably a career-best for him," Moore said.
"He's so tough, he's got a marvellous attitude, so many came at him there."
Thursday's six-race card featured the first 2017 Royal Ascot carnival runners by multiple champion Australian stallion Redoute's Choice.
Racenet compiled a list of runners with an Australasian connection for each of the Royal Ascot meetings on Thursday which included Alluringly, Naughty or Nice and Torcedor, sired by Fastnet Rock, Astronomy's Choice and Colibri sired by Redoute's Choice, and Gracious Diana and Hertford Dancer sired by Foxwedge.
(Photo source: www.breednet.com.au)