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Newbury Racecourse: Cairn Gorm looking for local success in Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes

This year marks the 25th year of Dubai Duty Free’s association with Newbury Racecourse, which hosts Dubai Duty Free International Weekend on Friday, 18 and Saturday 19, September, featuring the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes, won in the past by the likes of Harry Angel, Ribchester and Dark Angel.

Twelve quality entries have made for this year’s renewal, including Archie Watson’s Devilwala, the top-rated horse in the field. Andrew Balding, son of Mill Reef’s trainer Ian, is bidding to win the race for the first time with Fivethousandtoone, whilst last year’s winning trainer Roger Varian has the four-time seeker Line of Departure in the mix.


Following two trips to France through the Summer, Mick Channon is now looking to run his exciting colt Cairn Gorm on more familiar turf, as the West Ilsley based trainer attempts to win the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes for a third time.

“The horse is in great form and has been training well since his last run at Deauville.” commented Jack Channon, son and assistant to Channon, “He lost the race in the stalls in the Prix Morney, but we have put a line through it and are still confident he is a high-class horse. He will do his final piece of work tomorrow and we will decide whether he will go to the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef on Saturday or head straight to the Middle Park. Wherever he goes, we’re confident of a big run.”


Dubai Duty Free sponsor nine races across the two days and Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Dubai Duty Free commented: “We are very proud of our association with British racing which began with sponsorship of a single race at Newbury in 1996.  Since then we have witnessed a great many changes at Newbury and are delighted to have seen their business grow, alongside our own.


“Unfortunately, Covid-19 restrictions have forced our first absence from the racecourse in 25 years but we look forward to returning when it is once again safe for us to do so and send our best wishes to the team at Newbury and all those taking part in the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend.”


Julian Thick, Chief Executive for Newbury Racecourse added: “Our sincerest thanks to Dubai Duty Free for their ongoing support of Newbury Racecourse. In a 25-year association with Newbury and not once missing this meeting, they will be much missed by us and many others across the industry who have got to know them all so well. We look forward to welcoming them back again very soon.”


Dubai Duty Free International Weekend will be shown live on ITV1 on Saturday 19 September 2020.

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