Persistent rain proved no barrier to a great afternoon of racing on day two of the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend at Newbury on Saturday, 22 September, with several top-quality performances and thrilling finishes featuring in an action-packed eight-race card.
The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes, the day's most prestigious race has proved a springboard for future stars Ribchester (2015) and Harry Angel (2016) in recent years, and this year's winner Kessaar also looks to have a bright future following a decisive victory under Frankie Dettori. Trained by John Gosden, Kessaar is now set to head to France for the Group 1 Criterium International at Longchamp next month.
Gosden, winning the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes for the first time said, “We didn't know if Kessaar would handle the soft ground today, but it won't worry us again.
"The Criterium International used to be a mile but they've dropped it to seven furlongs and we are all going to Paris."
Mill Reef’s trainer, Ian Balding, joined Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Colm McLoughlin, Sinead El Sibai Senior Vice President Marketing and Jasmin Micoyco Assistant Manager Projects and Events, to present the trophies for the race which celebrates the 1971 Derby winner.
The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes is supported by two Group 3 events. The important £60,000 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup run over 11 furlongs, for three year olds and above was won by Young Rascal who earlier in the year had been a strong fancy to provide trainer William Haggas with his second Derby victory, and just nosed out Group winning rival Mirage Dancer in a photo under Jim Crowley.
Connections had hoped that the £60,000 Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy could provide a fairytale farewell for Take Cover, who at the age of 11 was having his final race for trainer David Griffiths, but the veteran was valiant in defeat being beaten just three-quarters of a length by Mr Lupton trained by Richard Fahey and ridden by Gerald Mosse.
The £75,000 Dubai Duty Free Handicap provided another thrilling finish and it was only in the last stride that Hughie Morrison’s Buzz and jockey Charlie Bennett got up to beat Mountain Angel Ridden by David Egan and trained by Roger Varian.
The Dubai Duty Free International Weekend proved to be a thrilling climax to the multi-award winning airport retailer’s horseracing sponsorship programme in the UK and Ireland which resumes at Newbury next year with the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials meeting in April.<< Back