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Highland Reel on target for Juddmonte International at York

Published 12/08/2016

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien

Highland Reel is set to be Aidan O'Brien's chief contender for the Juddmonte International after the Ballydoyle handler confirmed US Army Ranger is "unlikely" to line up in the feature event at York on Wednesday.

US Army Ranger has not been seen in competitive action since finishing runner-up to the Dermot Weld-trained Harzand in the Investec Derby at Epsom in early June and while he was left in the International at the five-day stage, he is set to make his comeback closer to home four days later.

Highland Reel, who got off the mark for the campaign with victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes last month, could be joined by stable companion Sir Isaac Newton, who finished fourth in the same Ascot showpiece.

O'Brien said: "It is unlikely that US Army Ranger will run in the International at York. He could go for the Royal Whip at the Curragh (on August 21).

"It looks at this stage as if Highland Reel and Sir Isaac Newton will be our two."

Idaho finished third in the Derby at Epsom before being narrowly denied by Harzand once more in the Irish equivalent.

He is also set to return on the opening day of York's Ebor Festival.

"Idaho and maybe one or two others will run in the Great Voltigeur," O'Brien confirmed.

"Idaho had a little break after the Irish Derby and will come forward for the run."

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