Bunyan hoping Hit The Bid can reach the heights in Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury
Newbury Racecourse is gearing up for Dubai Duty Free International Weekend, which offers two-days of high-class racing on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17.
Legendary music producer Mark Ronson will play a DJ set after racing on the Saturday. The multiple Grammy and Brit Award-winning Ronson is famed for producing seminal albums such as Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black and Adele’s 19. He has also collaborated with artists from Christina Aguilera to Duran Duran and was responsible for the worldwide number one hit Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars.
Tickets are still available and can be booked online here.
The racing highlight at the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend is the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes, staged over six furlongs for two-year-olds at 2.15pm. The prestigious contest, worth £75,000, is named in honour of the legendary Mill Reef, one of the greatest post-war Derby winners and was won last year by subsequent G1 scorer Ribchester.
There are 40 entries remaining for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes following yesterday’s scratching stage headed by Mehmas (Richard Hannon, pictured below), who has already landed two G2 six-furlong contests this season – Newmarket’s July Stakes and Goodwood’s Richmond Stakes. He only found Caravaggio too good when runner-up in the G2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien, all-conquering with his juveniles in 2016 and responsible for the unbeaten Caravaggio, has four entries going forward – G1 Phoenix Stakes runner-up Courage Under Fire, G3 Round Tower Stakes victor Intelligence Cross, Leo Minor and Sportsmanship.
Another Irish trainer, Darren Bunyan, is hoping to saddle stable star Hit The Bid. The son of Exceed And Excel made headlines last time out when belying his 50/1 starting price to win the G3 Curragh Stakes over five furlongs at the Curragh on August 20.
That was his first start since finishing seventh behind Caravaggio in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes over the same course and distance in May, after which he had a wind operation.
Bunyan said: “At the moment, the plan is to come over for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.
“Hit The Bid came out of the Curragh Stakes very well and is fresh in himself. He was no more than 90 per cent fit going into it, so naturally we were very pleased with his performance. We feel he deserves to step up to a race like the Mill Reef on the back of that.
“I don’t see six furlongs being an issue for him. Five or six furlongs is fine and another race I had my eye on was the Flying Childers at Doncaster. The biggest problem for him is the ground – even the last day Leigh [Roche] said he changed his legs five or six times as he wasn’t enjoying it. He wants it quick and hasn’t really had those conditions yet.
“It is definitely all ahead of him. He is 16′ 1 and a big frame of a horse. He will have a maximum of one more run this season and then we will put him away for next year.”
Trainer Bryan Smart has confirmed that the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes is the target for Alicante Dream, an impressive winner in Listed company at Ripon on Bank Holiday Monday, while fellow Listed scorers Mokarris (Simon Crisford) and Global Applause (Ed Dunlop) were second and fourth respectively in the G2 Gimcrack Stakes at York.
Other contenders going forward include Seven Heavens (John Gosden), a son of Frankel who made in two wins from as many starts when successful at Goodwood yesterday, and two G3 winners – the filly Nations Alexander (Richard Hannon), successful in the G3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket, and Yalta (Mark Johnston), who landed the G3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.
The 57 confirmations for the £75,000 Dubai Duty Free Handicap (2.50pm), staged over 10 furlongs on Saturday, September 17, are also revealed today, headed by joint top-weights Oasis Fantasy (Ed Dunlop) and Master Carpenter (Rod Millman).
The race programme on Saturday, September 17 includes two G3 races, the 11-furlong Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes (1.45pm) and the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes (3.25pm) over five furlongs. Both races have prize money of £60,000.
Racing on the Saturday, when there is a seven-race card, starts at 1.10pm, while the action on Friday, September 16 gets under way at 2.10pm. The Friday feature is the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup over seven furlongs worth £37,000.
The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes
Class 1, Group 2, £75,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.15pm, Newbury, Saturday, September 17. For two-year-olds, 6f. Weights: colts & geldings 9st 1lb; fillies 8st 12lb. Penalties: a winner of a Group 1 or Group 2 race 3lb. Entries closed August 2 (70 entries), scratchings deadline August 30 (40 remain), five-day confirmation stage Monday, September 12, final declaration stage 10.00am, Friday, September 15. Maximum field size: 20
Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
MEHMAS (IRE) 2-9-04 Al Shaqab Racing Richard Hannon
AKHLAAQ 2-9-01 Hamdan Al Maktoum Owen Burrows
ALICANTE DAWN 2-9-01 Bryan Smart Bryan Smart
BARRINGTON (IRE) 2-9-01 Morecombe, Anderson, O’Callaghan, Sangster Charlie Hills
BASHEER 2-9-01 Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum Marco Botti
BURRISHOOLE ABBEY (IRE) 2-9-01 Mrs M Gittins Karl Burke
COURAGE UNDER FIRE (USA) 2-9-01 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
DREAM OF DREAMS (IRE) 2-9-01 Saeed Suhail Kevin Ryan
GLOBAL APPLAUSE 2-9-01 Dr Johnny Hon Ed Dunlop
GREY BRITAIN 2-9-01 G Smith-Bernal John Ryan
HARRY ANGEL (IRE) 2-9-01 Peter Ridgers Clive Cox
HIT THE BID 2-9-01 Straight To Victory Syndicate Darren Bunyan IRE
INTELLIGENCE CROSS (USA) 2-9-01 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
JUMIRA BRIDGE 2-9-01 Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum Roger Varian
KODILINE (IRE) 2-9-01 Martin McHale Clive Cox
LEGENDARY LUNCH (IRE) 2-9-01 The Rat Pack Partnership 2016 Richard Hannon
LEO MINOR (USA) 2-9-01 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
LOST AT SEA 2-9-01 Mrs Z Wentworth Karl Burke
MEDICI BANCHIERE 2-9-01 Global Racing Club & Elaine Burke Karl Burke
MOKARRIS (USA) 2-9-01 Hamdan Al Maktoum Simon Crisford
MUBTASIM (IRE) 2-9-01 Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum William Haggas
MUTAWAKKED (IRE) 2-9-01 Hamdan Al Maktoum Brian Meehan
NOBLY BORN 2-9-01 Cheveley Park Stud John Gosden
PARFAIT (IRE) 2-9-01 Godolphin John Gosden
PRIVATE MATTER 2-9-01 Cheveley Park Stud Richard Fahey
REPTON (IRE) 2-9-01 Robin Heffer Richard Hannon
RICH AND FAMOUS (USA) 2-9-01 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
RUSUMAAT (IRE) 2-9-01 Hamdan Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
SEVEN HEAVENS 2-9-01 Khalid Abdullah John Gosden
SPORTSMANSHIP (USA) 2-9-01 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
STAR STREAM 2-9-01 R C C Villers Marcus Tregoning
SUTTER COUNTY 2-9-01 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
SWISS STORM 2-9-01 Lordship Stud & David Elsworth David Elsworth
TOP SCORE 2-9-01 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
UNABATED (IRE) 2-9-01 Mubarak Al Naemi Marco Botti
WAQAAS 2-9-01 Hamdan Al Maktoum Charlie Hills
YALTA (IRE) 2-9-01 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
DASHING POET 2-8-12 The Dashing Poets Jeremy Gask
NATIONS ALEXANDER (IRE) 2-8-12 Noel O’Callaghan Richard Hannon
PERFECT ANGEL (IRE) 2-8-12 Mildmay Racing & D H Caslon Andrew Balding
40 go forward after August 30 scratchings’ deadline
The Dubai Duty Free Handicap
Class 2, £75,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.50pm, Newbury, Saturday, September 17. For three-year-olds & upwards rated 0.105, 1m 2f. Penalties: after August 20, 2016, a winner of a race 5lb; a winner of 2 races 7lb. Entries closed August 16 (66 entries), scratchings deadline August 30 (57 remain), five-day confirmation stage Monday, September 12, final declaration stage 10.00am, Friday, September 15. Maximum field size: 20
Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
OASIS FANTASY (IRE) 5-9-10 Windflower Overseas & John Dunlop OBE Ed Dunlop
MASTER CARPENTER (IRE) 5-9-10 The Links Partnership Rod Millman
CELESTIAL PATH (IRE) 4-9-09 Gordon Woodall & Prof Caroline Tisdall Sir Mark Prescott
STARS OVER THE SEA (USA) 5-9-07 Roger Brookhouse Mark Johnston
MAN OF HARLECH 5-9-03 Elite Racing Club Andrew Balding
ROSENTAL 4-9-02 P Stokes & S Krase Luca Cumani
SCRUTINISE 4-9-02 Thurloe Thoroughbreds XXXIV Ed Dunlop
DARK RED (IRE) 4-9-02 The Hon R J Arculli Ed Dunlop
MEMORIAL DAY (IRE) 5-9-01 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
ODE TO EVENING 3-9-01 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
SHAKOPEE 4-9-00 Kangyu International Racing (HK) Limited Luca Cumani
WHAT ABOUT CARLO (FR) 5-9-00 Anthony Pye-Jeary Eve Johnson Houghton
GOLD PRINCE (IRE) 4-9-00 Jeff Smith Sylvester Kirk
WATERSMEET 5-8-13 J Barson Mark Johnston
SNOANO 4-8-13 M J Macleod Tim Easterby
SHABEEB (USA) 3-8-13 Hamdan Al Maktoum Roger Varian
PASSOVER 5-8-12 Kingsclere Racing Club Andrew Balding
BERMONDSEY 4-8-12 Fittocks Stud Luca Cumani
SCARLET DRAGON 3-8-12 Henry Ponsonby Eve Johnson Houghton
STARGAZER (IRE) 3-8-12 Michael Tabor Sir Michael Stoute
FELIX DE VEGA (IRE) 4-8-12 A Simpson, D Fielding & S Hull Mick Easterby
BAYDAR 3-8-12 V I Araci Hugo Palmer
ZHUI FENG (IRE) 3-8-12 John Connolly & Odile Griffith Amanda Perrett
FLIGHT OFFICER 5-8-12 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
LAIDBACK ROMEO (IRE) 4-8-11 Robin Craddock Clive Cox
POET’S WORD (IRE) 3-8-11 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
IMPERIAL AVIATOR 3-8-10 Qatar Racing, D Hunt, & Mrs E Markham Roger Charlton
SIR RODERIC (IRE) 3-8-10 The Links Partnership Rod Millman
MASTER OF IRONY (IRE) 4-8-10 Qatar Racing Ltd & Partner Ralph Beckett
INTERCONNECTION 5-8-09 Salem Rashid Ed Vaughan
GOODWOOD MIRAGE (IRE) 6-8-09 Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford Michael Bell
HIGH GROUNDS (IRE) 3-8-08 A M Shead, Cavendish Inv Ltd, Jack Hanson Charles Hills
CLASSIC VILLAGER 4-8-08 Brian Hargie & Rosemary Malley Michael Appleby
MONTSARRAT (IRE) 3-8-07 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
GOODWOOD ZODIAC (IRE) 3-8-06 Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group (22) Ltd William Knight
LORD BEN STACK (IRE) 4-8-06 Owners For Owners: Lord Ben Stack Karl Burke
MANSON 3-8-06 The Agincourt Partnership Dominic Ffrench Davis
BAADI 4-8-06 Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar Charlie Fellowes
SHELL BAY (USA) 4-8-05 Robin Heffer Richard Hannon
AUTOCRATIC 3-8-05 Cheveley Park Stud Sir Michael Stoute
LAURENCE 4-8-04 Fittocks Stud & Andrew Bengough Luca Cumani
SHABBAH (IRE) 3-8-04 Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah Sir Michael Stoute
ROCKSPIRIT (IRE) 3-8-04 Giuliano Manfredini Marco Botti
MUZDAWAJ 3-8-03 Hamdan Al Maktoum William Haggas
SIXTIES GROOVE (IRE) 3-8-03 Susan Roy Jeremy Noseda
BEAVERBROOK 3-8-03 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
SOUTHDOWN LAD (IRE) 3-8-03 G Roddick William Knight
SENNOCKIAN STAR 6-8-02 The Vine Accord Mark Johnston
BEARDWOOD 4-8-01 Alan & Mark Spence Mark Johnston
QUEBEE 3-8-00 Martin Collins Clive Cox
MAKZEEM 3-8-00 John Deer Roger Charlton
YOU’RE HIRED 3-7-13 George Materna Amanda Perrett
BATHOS (IRE) 3-7-13 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Mark Johnston
THREAT ASSESSED (IRE) 3-7-13 Alan Craddock Clive Cox
BROROCCO 3-7-12 Kingsclere Racing Club Andrew Balding
FREIGHT TRAIN (IRE) 4-7-11 M B Spence Mark Johnston
WILD HACKED (USA) 3-7-11 Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa Marco Botti
57 go forward after August 30 scratchings’ deadline