Balding bidding to win Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes for the first time


Andrew Balding is yet to be successful in the race named after his father’s favourite horse Mill Reef, but feels this could be his year. First supported by Dubai Duty Free in 1997, and won on two occasions by his father Ian who trained Forest Flower (1986) and Firebreak (2001), this year’s running also marks a twenty-five year association between Dubai Duty Free and Newbury Racecourse.

The 2020 renewal of the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes run over 6f which takes place on Saturday 19 September has attracted 8 quality horses, including Andrew’s runner Fivethousandtoone, previous Newbury winner, Cairn Gorm, four-time seeker, Line of Departure and the Richard Fahey-trained Rhythm Master.

An impressive winner at Newcastle last time out, Balding said of Fivethousandtoone: “He’s a horse we’ve always liked a lot at home, so it was great to see him be so impressive on the racecourse at Newcastle. It is a big step up for him, but the ground will suit, and he is bred to be a decent horse. We have been placed a few times in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef, and for obvious reasons it would mean a lot to win the race for the whole family – we will be giving it our best shot!”

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO for Dubai Duty Free said: We unfortunately can’t be at Newbury this year. Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have forced our first absence from the racecourse in our 25-year association with Newbury and with British racing which we celebrate this year. We look forward to returning when it is once again safe for us to do so and, in the meantime, send our best wishes and thanks to all of today’s participants, to the team at Newbury Racecourse and to members of the media who continue to support our involvement in British racing.”

Also on Saturday’s card is the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (formerly the Arc Trial), which will feature Desert Encounter who will attempt to become the first horse to win the race three times, having been successful in 2017 and 2019.

All races on Saturday will be shown on Racing TV, with four races on ITV1 starting at 1.30pm.

Full list of Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef declarations – Saturday 19 September

Horse Trainer Owner Jockey
Alkumait Marcus Tregoning Hamdan Al Maktoum Jim Crowley
Bahrain Pride Simon & Ed Crisford KHK Racing Ltd James Doyle
Cairn Gorm Mick Channon Hunscote Stud Ltd and Partner William Buick
Devilwala Archie Watson Amo Racing Limited & Arjun Waney Rossa Ryan
First Edition Clive Cox Mrs Annette O’Callaghan Adam Kirby
Fivethousandtoone Andrew Balding King Power Racing Co Ltd Silvestre de Sousa
Line of Departure Roger Varian HH Shaikh Nasser Al Khalifa & Partner David Egan
Rhythm Master Richard Fahey Mr John Dance PJ Mcdonald