Mill Reef Stakes Preview

Last updated: September 20, 2019 by Leon Marshal

The feature race at Newbury on Saturday is the £75,000 Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes for two-year-olds over six furlongs. The race has been won by some high class juveniles including subsequent 2000 Guineas winner Mon Fils (1972) and Irish 1000 Guineas winner Forest Flower (1986). Other notable winners include Formidable (1977), Magic Of Life (1987), Zafeen (2002) and Ribchester (2015). Last year’s race was won by John Gosden’s Kessaar, ridden by Frankie Dettori.

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Support for Pierre Lapin in Mill Reef Stakes

There has been strong ante-post support for Roger Varian’s unbeaten colt, Pierre Lapin. He was well backed on his racecourse debut at Haydock when comfortably beating Visible Charm by three and a half lengths. That was back in May and the second, third and fifth horses have won since. Pierre Lapin holds an entry in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes in October and will be ridden by Andrea Atzeni.

The highest rated horse in the field is Mystery Power, trained by Richard Hannon. He carries a penalty for winning the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July. He ran on strongly to beat Juan Elcano by a length that day. Mystery Power then ran in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood but was well beaten behind Pinatubo. The winner is already hot favourite for next season’s 2000 Guineas so there was no disgrace in that effort.

This race is named after the 1971 Derby winner Mill Reef, trained by Ian Balding. His son Andrew has a chance to add his name to the roll of honour with Shadn. Jim Crowley rides the daughter of No Nay Never, a winner at Kempton and Newbury. She finished a close third to Boomer at Goodwood last time out. The runner-up has won a Group 3 at Salisbury since so the form looks solid.

Balding seeks emotional success with Shadn

Malotru is another dual winner, having been successful at Chelmsford and San Siro. He was given a 61-day break before finishing a respectable fourth behind Threat in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York. He was staying on as well as anything inside the final furlong and should strip fitter this weekend.

Marcus Tregoning is represented by easy Salisbury winner Impressor, a colt by Footstepsinthesand out of a mare by Holy Roman Emperor. He confirmed the promise of his debut run behind Cobra Eye at Goodwood. Royal Commando got off the mark on his second start when beating Imperial Gloriana with plenty in hand. He tackled Group 2 company next time but suffered from interference when only eighth behind Golden Horde. He may be better than he showed that day.

Mr Kiki finished a close fourth in a hot maiden won by Mums Tipple at Ascot in July. The winner bolted up in a valuable sales race next time while runner-up Molatham won the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster. Mr Kiki duly obliged in a Yarmouth maiden when beating Double Or Bubbly by three-quarters of a length.

Betting Tips

Malotru @5-1 found at William Hill.

Impressor @6-1

Each-way 1/5 odds, 1,2,3

The Mill Reef Stakes is due off at 2.55 at Newbury on Saturday 21st September and will be televised live on ITV4.