Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes
Group 2, Newbury 15:15
£90,000 guaranteed,
2yo only,
6f 8y, Class 1   
Saturday 23rd September 2023


1 Array 7/4F
2 Mister Sketch 5/2
3 Seven Questions 7/1
6 ran NR: Red Zone Hero, Roman Emperor
Distances: ½l, shd, nse Time: 1m 17.29s (slow by 6.79s)

The Group Two is named in homage to the 1971 Derby winner, who was trained by Ian Balding to an astonishing run of top flight successes.

Balding’s son Andrew took over the reins at the family’s Kingsclere base in 2003 and despite countless other successes, the race named after the yard’s hero has never gone the way of the younger Balding.

That was until Array took his chance as the 7-4 favourite, and in a messy race he found a clear passage to hold off the chasing pack and seal the victory by half a length from Mister Sketch.

Balding said: “Obviously this race is important to our family.

“We try to find one for it but Dad trained our last winner, Firebreak, while I’ve had two seconds and a third before this.

“I can’t see why this won’t be a horse with a big future and Oisin thinks it would be worth trying him over further. It’s not impossible he will get a mile.

“He was very tough today and has a great mind on him.

“The Middle Park is too soon and if he was supplemented into the Dewhurst it would need a unanimous decision.”

Horses 468x60 Jpg

Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2)
£90,000 guaranteed, 2yo only, 6f 8y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Heavy, Soft in places

1 (2)    Array 2 9-3 Andrew Balding Oisin Murphy 7/4F
2 (3)
½ Mister Sketch 2 9-3 Eve Johnson Houghton Charles Bishop 5/2
3 (8)
shd Seven Questions 2 9-3 George Scott Callum Shepherd 7/1
4 (5)
nse Spanish Phoenix 2 9-3 Andrew Balding James Doyle 14/1
5 (6) ½ Haatem 2 9-6 Richard Hannon Sean Levey 5/1
6 (1)
12 Matters Most 2 9-3 Ralph Beckett Hector Crouch 8/1
NR 5 (4) Red Zone Hero 2 9-3 Michael Bell NON RUNNER
NR 6 (7) Roman Emperor 2 9-3 John Ryan NON RUNNER