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Seventeen Remain on Track for Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes

Seventeen two-year-olds have been left in at the confirmation stage of this Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury Racecourse, as part of Dubai Duty Free International Weekend. Running across Friday 17 and Saturday 18 September, the weekend sees fantastic action on the track, with the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes and Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup on the Friday leading into two Group 3s and the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes on the Saturday.

The confirmations for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes, released today, include Weatherbys Super Sprint winner Gubbass, the John & Thady Gosden trained Dhabab and three of the first four home in the Gimcrack: Gis A Sub, Twilight Jet and Fearby.

Fearby is one of two entries on Saturday for trainer Ed Bethell, who will be looking to have his first runners at the Berkshire track, having recently scored his first Group winner.

Bethell commented, “Fearby has run some great races this season, and it’s all systems go for this weekend. He’s in good form at home and I’m really looking forward to running him. His Sandown win was his stand-out run of the season in terms of speed figures. I think he would have been a lot closer in the Gimcrack at York but seemed to have a few gaps close in front of him.”

“A flat 6 furlongs at Newbury should play into his hands and show him at his best. I’m excited to have my first two runners at Newbury this weekend – I just can’t believe they’re in a Group 2 and a Group 3!”

An owner who is no stranger to success at Newbury is John Dance. His Bravemansgame was the standout of the novice hurdlers in Great Britain in the 2020/21 jumps season, including when winning the Grade 1 MansionBet Challow Hurdle at Newbury.

Whilst Sam Maximus is yet to achieve those highs, owner John Dance has not given up hope. He commented, “Our intention is to run him. We flirted with dropping him back to five furlongs as he hasn’t really seen out his last two races. In France, he just didn’t see it out because of the soft ground, whilst in Ireland he had no real excuse. The only thing we could think was that he didn’t take to travelling abroad, so we want to give him another shot at six furlongs in this country.”

“Newbury should suit him – he ran well at Haydock and they’re not dissimilar. This will possibly be his last run of the season as we want to try and look after him and see if he can improve as a three-year-old. Our priority is to see a return to form.”

Kicking off on the Friday, the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend sees some exciting races. The 41st Running of the Haynes Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes has received some interesting entries including potential stars of the future, including Saga, owned by Her Majesty The Queen, and Rawyaan, trained by the leading trainer of the race Marcus Tregoning.

Following the live racing on Saturday, 80s icon, Rick Astley will take to the Party in the Paddock stage for a 90 minute set with some of his classics, plus a selection of exciting covers.

Tickets are still available from www.newburyracecourse.co.uk or through calling 01635 40015. 

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