In a tremendous boost to Australia’s stallion ranks, Swettenham Stud has announced that globe-trotting great, HIGHLAND REEL, will stand in Victoria this spring.
Highland Reel’s racetrack deeds were nothing short of epic: a Group Two winner as a two-year-old, the winner of seven Group One races at three, four AND five years, the ability to campaign at the highest level in seven countries – including a third behind wonder mare, Winx, in her record breaking Cox Plate, and the winner of nearly €9,500,000 (over A$15 million) in prizemoney, more than any other European trained horse in history.
In 2016, as a four-year-old, Highland Reel campaigned in Dubai, Hong Kong, England (winning the time honoured King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes), Ireland, France (running second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe), the United States (winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf) and Hong Kong again!
Not surprisingly, Highland Reel was a ‘favourite’ of legendary trainer, Aidan O’Brien, who has nothing but high praise for the global phenomenon: “an incredible horse with pace and courage and tactical speed … he has everything”.
Leading European bloodstock agent, John Ferguson, is also a huge fan: “Highland Reel won his maiden – as a two-year-old – by an incredible 12 lengths and nearly four years later, the horse was still at his peak, ending his career with an emphatic victory in the (Group One) Hong Kong Vase. It’s worth noting too that his first Hong Kong Vase victory, in 2015, was only weeks after his third behind Winx when he was still effectively only a three-year-old. A tremendous racehorse.”
Yet, while Highland Reel’s race record – and incredible temperament – are incentive enough, his “Aussie” pedigree will only add to his massive appeal.
As a son of the all-conquering sire and sire-of-sires in Galileo, an eight time Champion Sire of 64 individual Group One winners, Highland Reel is bred on the same potent Galileo/Danehill cross as Frankel and Teofilo, whose Group One winners in Australia include Happy Clapper, Humidor, Palentino, Sonntag and Kermadec.
Highland Reel, meanwhile, is out of the Group One placed, Australian-bred Danehill mare, Hveger, whose other runners include Highland Reel’s full brother, Idaho, a dual Group One winner and placed in both the English and Irish Derbies, and his half brother Valdemoro, runner up in both the Group One VRC Oaks and Vinery Stud Stakes.
Hveger, in turn, is out of the Group One AJC Australian Oaks winner, Circles of Gold, a genuine ‘blue hen’ and one of Australia’s most influential broodmares.
Importantly, Highland Reel is closely related to Champion Sprinter and leading sire, Starspangledbanner, who also campaigned successfully in both hemispheres and has produced Group winning juveniles in Europe (Champion 2YO Colt in France, The Wow Signal) and Australia.
Encouragingly – and not surprisingly – extensive pedigree analysis reveals that Highland Reel ‘nicks’ with a vast range of Australian broodmares.
“Swettenham Stud is extremely excited to have secured Highland Reel from Coolmore Stud for stallion duties in the southern hemisphere,” Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster enthused. “And while he might be standing at our Nagambie base, Highland Reel’s appeal is truly global.
“With his tremendous race record and what is clearly a stallion’s pedigree, I’m highly confident he will attract broodmare owners from all states … particularly at such a competitive fee.”
Highland Reel will join the star-studded Swettenham roster at an introductory fee of $15,000 plus GST and for further information, phone Adam Sangster on 0418 543 633 or Sam Matthews on 0487 851 572.
“Unbelievably consistent and kept delivering. The more countries he went to, the better he got. Exemplary horse in every way”
Shadwell Stud, Angus Gold
“As tough and consistent a racehorse as you’ll ever see … the way he fought back in his races! He has such a big heart”
Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Manager, International Sales, Mark Richards
“The kind of horse we all aspire to own … he travels, he’s got speed, tough, sound. If you could breed a horse like this you’d be very proud and a very lucky owner!”
Renowned international bloodstock agent, Hubie deBurgh
“His bloodlines on his dam's side have at least 80% in common with the most successful proven stallions in this part of the world, such as Redoute's Choice and I Am Invincible, to name just two of many”
Pedigree expert, Brian Messner
“Highland Reel was a terrific racehorse, extremely versatile, and a wonderful addition to Victoria’s stallion ranks. Really looking forward to selling his progeny in the years to come.” Inglis Victorian Bloodstock Manager, Simon Vivian
“Great opportunity for Australian breeders to get into a horse of this quality … he won the international Hong Kong Vase twice and absolutely brutalised them up there”
Hong Kong based industry consultant, Nick Columb
“Very, very good individual … he stands about 16.1 hands and is a lovely, quality horse. I’m sure he’ll do very well at stud in Australia”