“There will never be another Highland Reel, there couldn’t be – who could match the exploits of the colt who won seven Group or Grade 1 races on three different continents?” – David Carr, Racing Post, 10 May 2018
However, it seems Idaho, the little brother of the new Swettenham Stud shuttle sire is determined to take his international frequent flyer mantle following an impressive Group 3 win.
Five-year-old Idaho won the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes over 2700 metres at Chester showing he’s on track for a big season and giving a hint as to where his career might lead next.
His legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien commented following the three-and-a-half-length win.
“Ryan (Moore) has said he’d stay further, though, so that opens up even more options. He said he’d have no problem going further, so I suppose he could develop into a Cup horse,” O’Brien said.
Idaho already has a reputable international CV having run in five different countries, been placed in both the Epsom and Irish Derbies, won the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and taken his place in the Arc de Triomphe and Japan Cup.
The Coronation Cup and King George are firmly on the radar for Idaho in the foreseeable future, but there is no doubt O’Brien would consider a Melbourne campaign considering his recent propensity to target the race.
Idaho has achieved significantly more in European form terms than Johannes Vermeer (Galileo), who O’Brien trained to finish third in the Caulfield Cup prior to running second in the Melbourne Cup last year.
One of three winners from Group 1 placed Australian-bred Danehill mare Hveger, Idaho has won four races and placed seven times from 18 starts.
His full-brother Highland Reel won ten races, seven of them at Group 1 level and will stand at Swettenham Stud this season at an introductory fee of $16,500.