It’s Mill Reef day at Newbury this Saturday and to start my preview I’m beginning with the 1.45 on the card with is the Group 3 World Trophy Stakes which takes place over five furlongs. This year’s renewal of the race I think can go to the highly progressive DAKOTA GOLD for Michael Dods and Connor Beasley. He’s won his last four outings progressing through the handicap ranks and winning a Listed race when last seen at York. There’s likely a lot more to come from him and there’s every chance of a bold showing here. The likely dangers look to come from Equliateral who won a Listed race at Doncaster last time as well as old favourite Judicial who also won a Listed event last time out in the form of the Beverley Bullet.
Next up is the 2:20 which is another Group 3 race this time the Legacy Cup Stakes which is contested over a mile and three furlongs. This race was formerly known as ‘The Arc Trial’ and despite there not being anything in this race that could trouble Enable it’s still a competitive affair with some smart contenders. The one I like here is the James Fanshawe trained PONDUS who’s the mount of Ryan Moore. He’s progressed nicely this term having won a couple of Novice races in the Spring and ran a solid race in second here in July in Listed company behind Fox Chairman. He followed that up with another solid effort in a Haydock Group 3 when finishing second again that time behind Addeybb and it seems another solid effort at this level looks likely. Desert Encounter sets a solid standard here, he arrives here with back to back Group 3 victories to his name and seems to be the perfect fit for Jamie Spencer. Waldstern is another to note, he finally put his best foot forward last time in a Newmarket Handicap and is still fairly unexposed, he represents John Gosden and is the mount of Robert Havlin.
The 2:55 is the feature race itself the Mill Reef Stakes which is a Group 2 over six furlongs. The race has been won by some big names in the past who have gone on to become proven Group 1 horses, recently the likes of Ribchester and Harry Angel. I think this year’s renewal of the race can go to Roger Varian’s PIERRE LAPIN who’s a half brother to 2016 winner Harry Angel. We haven’t seen him since an impressive victory on debut at Haydock however this looks to of been the plan for him and he’s clearly got lofty expectations from his top connections. The first of the main dangers in the line up looks to be Richard Hannon’s Mystery Power who has already won a Group 2 this season and is the mount of Ryan Moore. Malotru is also worth a notable mention here, Marco Botti’s two-year-old won a Group 3 in June and followed up with a respectable fourth-placed effort behind Threat at York. Gerald Mosse in the saddle and it’s likely he’ll be thereabouts.