Mill Reef Stakes Guide 2021

Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
1(5)
Robert Havlin

Dhabab

J:
 
Robert Havlin
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 103
Days: 70

John Gosden won this race in 2018 and boasts a highly impressive 24% strike rate at Newbury across the last 3 seasons.

John and Thady enter their 2yo colt Dhabab for the contest, who has been well backed throughout the week.

The son of No Nay Never was a huge eyecatcher to fly home to win from the rear on debut at Leicester (6f), however was luckless next time out in the Coventry (6f) when hitting traffic inside the final furlong when loaded up for a big run.

The step up to 7f last time out at Newmarket in the Superlative Stakes didn't quite go to plan when showing little in the final furlong despite going off as favourite for the contest, fading into 3rd.

The drop back to 6f looks a big plus whilst progeny of No Nay Never also boast an 18% strike rate on straight, flat galloping tracks, providing substance that the switch to Newbury will seemingly also suit.

Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
4(6)
Sean Levey

Gubbass

J:
 
Sean Levey
T:
 
Richard Hannon
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 108
Days: 27

Richard Hannon's father is the leading trainer in the Mill Reef, boasting 4 wins in the contest, and will want to replicate that success through entrant Gubbass.

The son of Mehmas went 2 from 2 in his opening two starts, firstly over the minimum trip at Leicester on debut before then stepping up to land the 22 runner Super Sprint Stakes here at Newbury.

Gubbass then ran out a close up 3rd behind Assymetric at Goodwood on his first time step up to 6f, who subsequently got the better of Gubbass once more, last time out, when the pair finished 3rd and 5th in Group 1 company in France.

The return to a Group 2 will see him in a better light and he's a top contender based on form for the contest.

Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
3(3)
James Doyle

Gis A Sub

J:
 
James Doyle
T:
 
Kevin Ryan
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 106
Days: 29

Gis A Sub for Kevin Ryan, improved from a nose runner up finish on debut at York (6f) to land a class 2 at Pontefract next time out.

Soft ground appeared to be the undoing of the son of Acclamation next time out in the Richmond Stakes (6f) with Gis A Sub finishing 6th, 2 lengths behind re-opposing rival Gubbass who finished 3rd that day.

A much improved 2nd placed finish last time out in the Gimcrack (6f) is good form behind Lusail in Group 2 company however the run confirmed suspicions of his strong preference for fast ground.

Looks held here by the forecasted softer conditions.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/21CHA6VSft9-26
20/08/21YOR6GF9-02
29/07/21GOO6GS9-06
28/06/21PON6Gd8-121
12/06/21YOR6GF9-52
Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
2(10)
P J McDonald

Fearby

J:
 
P J McDonald
T:
 
Edward Bethell
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 103
Days: 29

Barring Moss Gill who runs in the 14:15 on the same card, trainer Edward Bethell had never had a runner entered at Newbury prior.

He runs Fearby in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes, a son of Havana Gold, who has progressed well to land a 5.5f maiden at Wetherby on his 2nd career start before stepping up to land Listed spoils at Sandown back down at the minimum trip.

Whilst a respectable runner up effort, his next time run in a Group 3 was overshadowed by a 3.25 length win by Armor on soft ground at Goodwood.

Last time out, he made the first time step up to 6f in the Gimcrack, finishing 4th on fast ground, despite not having a clear run and having to switch left on the run in to the line.

He's expected to give his running once more, however looks slightly held by that form with Amor who Gubbass got within half a length of last time out in France, albeit over the longer 6f trip.

Progeny of Havana Gold also have just 3 wins in 47 runs at Newbury (6%), a statistic which may ultimately hold him here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/21NBY6Gd9-13
20/08/21YOR6GF9-04
28/07/21GOO5Sft9-12
02/07/21SAN5GS9-21
08/06/21WET5.5GF9-31
Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
7(4)
Tom Marquand

Maglev

J:
 
Tom Marquand
T:
 
William Haggas
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 98
Days: 30

William Haggas is yet to land the Mill Reef Stakes however the trainer holds a respectable 16% strike rate at Newbury across the last 3 seasons.

He enters Maglev, a son of Galileo Gold, who improved from a 4th placed debut run to win next time out at Yarmouth on fast ground.

The £210,000 2yo purchase then finished a head 2nd in a 3 runner field at Chester up in a class 2 before subsequently stepping up to 7f last time out; running on from a hampered start to fade into 3rd in the final 110 yards behind the impressive Doncaster winner Harrow and subsequent listed 4th placed finisher Alflaila.

The step back down to 6f will potentially suit better, however he takes a big hike in grade to a Group 2 and based on what he has achieved so far, this looks tough.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/08/21YOR7Gd8-112
01/08/21CHS6GS9-02
01/07/21YAR6GF9-21
01/06/21LEI5GF9-54
Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
10(8)
Adam Kirby

Wings Of War

J:
 
Adam Kirby
T:
 
Clive Cox
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 100
Days: 14

Clive Cox has his yard in fine order of late with a 22% strike rate in the last 14 days; he runs Wings Of War for the contest.

Wings Of War got off the mark at the second time of asking, winning by a 2.5 length margin at Nottingham (6f) before stepping up to place 3rd in blanket finish in a class 2 race next time out at York.

The son of Dark Angel improved once more to finish a length runner-up in a Group 3 on the all-weather last time out, staying on from the rear, however was a drifting favourite for the contest.

He now switches back to turf and is hiked again in grade to a Group 2 to be competitive here which does look tough for the win, however he does hold fair place claims in this.

Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
5(7)
Oisin Murphy

Hierarchy

J:
 
Oisin Murphy
T:
 
Hugo Palmer
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 98
Days: 14

Hugo Palmer teams up with Oisin Murphy for the contest, a pair currently operating at a highly impressive 31% strike rate this season.

Hierarchy went 2 from 2 this season thanks to a debut win at Wolverhampton before improving to win again at Salisbury next time out in a class 4 (6f).

The son of Mehmas stepped up to Group 3 level last time out on the all weather resulting in a 1.5length 3rd placed finish behind Eve Lodge and re-opposing rival Wings Of War and he's now entitled to improve again.

A 0-12 record for Hugo Palmer at Newbury this season is a stat that backers will need to overlook here however.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/09/21NBY6Gd9-12
04/09/21KEM6St/Slw9-13
24/08/21SAL6Gd9-71
09/08/21WOL6St9-51
Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
6(9)
Andrea Atzeni

Khunan

J:
 
Andrea Atzeni
T:
 
Richard Fahey
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 107
Days: 27

Richard Fahey is a twice winner of this race in 2013 and 2015 and the trainer teams up with the in-form Andrea Atzeni on board entrant, Khunan.

Khunan is one of the more exposed runners in the field having had 7 career starts, winning once.

The son of Twilight Sons win came over the minimum trip at Ripon in April and he stepped up to Group level in the Norfolk in June over that 5f trip to finish 6th on fast ground.

He got the better of Gubbass in the Richmond (6f), finishing 2nd and appreciating rain softened ground to get within half a length of Assymetric, however he was well below par last time out at Deauville where both runners reversed that form as Khunan only managed a 10th placed finish, seemingly without excuses.

He will appreciate the drop back to a Group 2 and should again appreciate softer ground conditions however he has it all to prove after a poor run last time out and needs to bounce back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/08/21DEA6GS9-00
29/07/21GOO6GS9-02
17/06/21ASC5GF9-16
28/05/21PON6Sft9-52
28/04/21PON5GF9-82
Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
8(2)
William Buick

Manaccan

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
John Ryan
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 93
Days: 21

Manaccan cost connections 100,000guineas as a 2yo and with that price tag, is expected to go on from his highly impressive 4.5 length win at Newmarket last time out on good to firm.

That was the son of Exceed and Excel's third attempt at getting off the mark and last times winning jock William Buick has been retained on board.

Whilst the runner should improve again, this Group 2 represents a big hike in class for the runner and has it all to prove at this level.

He has also only ever raced on fast ground and a big question mark lingers over his suitability to the forecasted more testing ground.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/10/21NMK5GS9-14
18/09/21NBY6Gd9-16
28/08/21NMK6GF9-51
01/07/21YAR6GF9-23
02/06/21AYR6GF9-54
Newbury - September 17 2021
Newbury 15:00
9(1)
Neil Callan

Melayu Kingdom

J:
 
Neil Callan
T:
 
Kevin Ryan
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: 92
Days: 19

Melayu Kingdom was off the mark at the first time of asking at Thirsk on debut over the minimum 5f trip.

The son of Mehmas was unable to follow up however in listed company next time out, 6.5 lengths off the pace at Ripon for his step up to 6f.

He is open to further improvement on his 3rd start however on the evidence of his last run, this Group 2 appears to have come too early, and it's likely that he will be outclassed.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/08/21RIP6Gd9-34
17/04/21THI5GF9-51

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