Highland Reel among stars set for Hong Kong

Highland Reel will bid to defend his Hong Kong Vase title

PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) Highland Reel among stars set for Hong Kong
By Mark Scully 10:00AM 23 NOV 2016

HIGHLAND REEL will bid to defend his Hong Kong Vase crown at Sha Tin next month after he featured among 56 selected runners for the end-of-season Longines Hong Kong International Races.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained globetrotter will be joined on the journey east by stablemate Cougar Mountain, who is set to line up in the Hong Kong Mile at the December 11 showpiece fixture.

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Joining Highland Reel in the Vase will be Big Orange, whose international adventure continues after two runs in Australia, including a tenth-placed effort in the Melbourne Cup earlier this month.

In the Hong Kong Sprint, King's Stand Stakes hero Profitable features among the entries, as does the Richard Fahey-trained Growl, winner of the Listed Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster earlier this month.

France looks set to be well represented at the meeting, with Silverwave, Erupt, Garlingari and One Foot In Heaven in line for the Vase and Signs Of Blessing bidding for glory in the Sprint. Elliptique, meanwhile, is entered for the Hong Kong Cup, with trainer Andre Fabre seeking a third win at the meeting.

The three other reigning champions, along with Highland Reel, will all return to Sha Tin, although instead of defending his Mile title, Japanese heavyweight Maurice will join A Shin Hikari in the Cup, while domestic star Peniaphobia is once again in the Sprint picture.

Anthony Kelly, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's executive director, racing business and operations, said: "We are pleased to see the depth of quality to the selected runners for the 2016 races.

"All four of the 2015 champions are set to compete again and the home team will have its work cut out to better the one win achieved last time around. It is particularly exciting to see Maurice's connections sportingly opting to take on the challenge of the Cup rather than the Mile this time."

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