Reel wound up for Cup defence

Highland Reel could return to America

Highland Reel set himself up for the defence of his Breeders' Cup Turf crown with a meritorious run in defeat in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien's globetrotter finished third to Cracksman on unsuitably soft ground, but conditions are expected to be far more in his favour at Del Mar on November 4.

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O'Brien was satisfied with the run, particularly as Highland Reel covered more ground than his rivals as jockey Ryan Moore looked for better ground down the far side.

"We were delighted with his run. He has been off a long time and he is not a soft ground horse, but we were over the moon with his run," said O'Brien.

"That (America) is what we would be thinking about.

"It was the only place we could get a little bit better ground, by going over the far side."

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