Fourteen Remain In Contention For Group 2 Glory In Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes

Video interview with Richard Hannon available to embed via YouTube: 

A field of 14 two-year-olds have been left in at the confirmation stage for Saturday’s Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury Racecourse. The Mill Reef Stakes is the feature race of the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend – which takes place across Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September –  and the six-furlong contest is restricted to two-year-olds for a total prize fund of £90,000.

Confirmations released today include Prix de Cabourg (Group 3) winner Elite Status trained in Yorkshire by Karl Burke. A yard in red hot form with four group winners so far in September already, the daughter of Havana Grey, last seen in Group 1 company in the Prix Morny, has won three of her five career starts. The Grimcrack (Group 2) winner Lake Forest (W.Haggas) also remains in contention. Matters Most (R.Beckett) could look to give first season sire Advertise his first Group success. Last seen finishing 2nd behind Task Force in the Two Year Old Trophy (Listed) at Ripon, he finished just ahead of Seven Questions (G.Scott) who has been supplemented for Saturday’s Group 2 contest. A recent purchase by Wathnan Racing, Mister Sketch(E.Johnson-Houghton) was a runaway winner at Salisbury a month ago and would be stepping into Group company for the first time on Saturday. Andrew Balding has left two in the race: Array and Spanish Phoenix.

Red Zone Hero (M.Bell) was an impressive winner of the 6f Nursery at Doncaster on 15th September. Owned by Middleham Park Racing, the Starspangledbanner colt has been supplemented and could step into Group company for the first time on Saturday. The final supplemented entry is Eben Shaddad who broke his maiden impressively on his sole start for John & Thady Gosden.

Richard Hannon has two entered in the race, Haatem and Serene Seraph. Despite only having two career starts, the local trainer was confident Serene Seraph, a daughter of Blue Point, would relish conditions at Newbury. With the going currently good-to-soft, Hannon commented on the only filly in the race who will be carrying bottom weight: “She will love soft ground, she is also coming back a furlong from her last start which was a good race, and they went a long way clear of the third. It is a flat and fair track; I think that will really suit her. She’s not that experienced and over the 7f she just ran out of puff in the last half furlong, but she will have come on for that. I think a fast run 6f is right up her street. She has always shown us a lot of ability at home, she ran in a hot maiden in Doncaster and then we gave her a complete break after. The timing of the Mill Reef has fitted in to plans perfectly. I think she is a pretty good filly and I think she would have a good chance.”

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September are currently available, please head to

Full entries for the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes-Saturday 23 September