Jockey Ryan Moore hailed the best race of Highland Reel’s glittering career after riding the Aidan O’Brien trained 9/4 shot to a gutsy victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.
Highland Reel was passed by Ulysees and Decorated Knight heading into the final furlong but dug deep to respond and claim a sixth Group One race by a length and a quarter.
It came just 19 days after his Coronation Cup triumph at Epsom and took his career prize money to almost £6m.
“He’s so tough,” Moore said of Highland Reel, who was won races on three different continents. “He’s got a marvellous attitude – so many came at him there. This lad has been everywhere but he keeps coming back. It was a tough performance at Epsom and another one today. He’s so brave and I would say that was probably a career best.”
O’Brien, who was celebrating his first win of the meeting, added: “He’s a brilliant horse and Ryan gave him a brilliant ride. Pace, courage, speed – he has everything.”
Earlier, Heartache upset odds-on favourite Happy Like A Fool to win the Queen Mary Stakes by two and a half lengths for jockey Adam Kirby and trainer Clive Cox.
Happy Like A Fool had to settle for second as American trainer Wesley Ward was denied a second Royal Ascot winner in as many days.
Qemah prevailed at the meeting for a second year in a row as jockey Gregory Benoist and the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained 5/2 favourite held off 40/1 outsider Aljazzi in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.
It was a second French winner of the day, after Le Brivido won the jersey stakes for master trainer Andre Fabre. Pierre-Charles Boudot steered the 2/1 favourite home by a neck from 66/1 shot Spirit Of Valor.