Highland Reel and Ryan Moore after winning the Group 1 Prince of Wales

Highland Reel and Ryan Moore after winning the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes (Image: Twitter - @Ascot)

Reel challenger for Winx

Winx had her form franked once again as world leaders Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore teamed up with Highland Reel to take the Prince Of Wales's Stakes - the feature event on day two of Royal Ascot.

It is closing in on two years since the five-year-old was third to the brilliant mare in the Cox Plate - a race for which he is invited again this year - and he has since gone on to be become a global iron horse.

Highland Reel displays toughness and resilience found only in the elite crop of thoroughbreds and has won Group 1 events in Hong Kong, the United States and one again in the UK.

Just over two weeks after collecting the Coronation Cup on Derby weekend at Epsom, he again displayed the heart of a lion, as dropping back to 2000m from his usual 2400, the son of super-stallion Galileo fought back after being headed by Decorated Knight and Ulysses to win going away by a length-and-a-quarter.

O'Brien, celebrating Royal Ascot win number 56, said of the 9-4 favourite: "He is an incredible horse. Pace, courage, tactical speed, he has everything.

"He was back to a mile-and-a-quarter today and we know he gets a mile-and-a-half well, but was a very good Group 2 winner over seven furlongs (1400m) as a two-year-old. He always had that pace.

"He has never lacked pace so we were hoping today over this distance that courage would come into it. He is tactically very quick and unbelievably courageous.

"He is like his sire Galileo because he also had so much courage and he has passed it on to Highland Reel 10-fold."

A repeat win in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes next month is likely, with future plans - including a possible Cox Plate assault - to be decided by his owners at Coolmore.

WATCH: Highland Reel wins the Prince of Wales's Stakes

Decorated Knight keeps on improving for trainer Roger Charlton and followed up his maybe fortuitous win in the Tattersalls Gold Cup by taking second.

Charlton said: "We had been thinking about maybe going for the Arlington Million but, looking at that, I think we could look at the Eclipse.

"He has had an invite for the Cox Plate, but it's not something I have thought about yet. I'm not sure about the weight he would carry and it's such a long journey. We'll have to see."

Trainer Clive Cox and jockey Adam Kirby combined to land last year's Prince Of Wales's and they were both in amongst the winners again as once-raced Heartache held off the challenge of Wesley Ward's odds-on favorite Happy Like A Fool in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Cox said: "We knew she was nice, but we were not sure how nice - to win at this level is what it is all about.

"I was a bit worried when I saw the American filly [Happy Like A Fool], who looked pretty special in the paddock, and when Adam took her on as early as he did I was a bit concerned. Adam rode her with complete confidence, and is a pretty good fellow in the saddle.

"Two-year-olds are my passion, the stars of the future, and she is."

French runners dominated elsewhere, with Andre Fabre's French 2000 Guineas runner-up Le Brivido taking the opening Jersey Stakes for three-year-olds over 1400m, while Fabre's Usherette looked unlucky when grabbing third behind Qemah in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.

The pair had both won at the meeting 12 months ago but the defending champion endured a luckless passage as the Coronation Stakes heroine obliged as the 5-2 favourite for John-Claude Rouget.

Rouget commented: "I hope now that she will continue to improve for the rest of the season.

"She will now go to Deauville for the Prix Rothschild and then certainly the Matron Stakes."

American Ward was out of luck with Happy Like A Fool but managed to register his second success of the week as Con Te Partiro caused a 20-1 upset in the Sandringham Handicap.