Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes
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Group 3, Goodwood 14:35
£100,000 added,
3yo only,
1m 4f, Class 1
 
Wednesday 29th July 2015

1 Highland Reel 7/4F
2 Scottish 7/1
3 Disegno 7/1
NR: Red Tornado (FR)
9 ran Distances: 1½l, 5l, 1l
TIME 2m 34.94s (slow by 1.94s)

Highland Reel
© Racehorse Photos
Highland Reel

Aidan O'Brien's Highland Reel was the 7-4 favourite after finishing fifth in the Irish Derby and tracked the pacesetters into the home straight.

Early leader Space Age began to falter inside the last half-mile, but Scottish moved powerfully towards the lead and Highland Reel was briefly short of room after being held in by Disegno.

However, once the gap game, Highland Reel knuckled down to his task under Joseph O'Brien and wore down Scottish to score by a length and a half. Disegno was five lengths back in third.

The winning jockey said: "I was out early enough and I had plenty of horse. When you have the horse, the gaps come.

"He tried his heart out and had a nice position.

"I was a bit worried early doors as we went slow, but in fairness to him he tries and he handles this track well."

Aidan O'Brien's first thoughts were that this mile and a half was as far as the colt really wanted to go. But after a debrief with his son Joseph, the Galileo colt's rider, he revised the view.

"I thought towards the end the horse was running on empty," he said, "but Joseph didn't think that. So what it looks like and what he felt are different. We won't make a decision about the St Leger yet, but if he did go to Doncaster, he'd go straight there."

"He is still a bit babyish and will be one for next year," said O'Brien senior. "He lives on his nerves a bit - he's a free sweater - but he is getting better. He relaxed early today and had a lovely position but then when the other horse started closing in he had to be strong to hold his position and that can be tough on a horse, take a lot out of him.

"We were just afraid of the energy he could have lost by holding his position but he's a hardy type and he was brave."

It was Highland Reel's second victory at Goodwood, after last year's Vintage Stakes. "I was out early and had plenty of horse," said Joseph O'Brien, "and when you have the horse the gaps come. He tries hard and had a nice position. I was a bit worried early doors as they went slow but, in fairness to him, he tries and handles this track well.

"He definitely could be a Leger horse. I would never have thought that he needed a mile and six but he did well to win off a slow pace today."

Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes
£100,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (3) Highland Reel (IRE) 7/4f J P O'Brien A P O'Brien 3
2nd (4) Scottish (IRE) 7/1 Jim Crowley
9-1
A M Balding 3
3rd (7) 5 Disegno (IRE) 7/1 Andrea Atzeni
9-1
Sir Michael Stoute 3
4th (6) 1 Medrano 7/2 F Lynch
9-1
D H Brown 3
5th (9) Space Age (IRE) 7/1 W Buick
9-1
C Appleby 3
6th (5) nk Proposed 33/1 P J Dobbs
9-1
R Hannon 3
7th (8) Tommy Docc (IRE) 25/1 P Makin
9-1
K Dalgleish 3
8th (1) 4 Amaze Me 66/1 J F Egan
8-12
N P Littmoden 3
9th (10) 44 Prince Gagarin (IRE) 11/1 L Dettori
9-1
E A L Dunlop 3
NR (2) Red Tornado (FR) 33/1 James Doyle
9-1
H J L Dunlop 3