Dubai: Four Dubai-owned contenders are among a strong field being assembled for the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes, highlight of Newbury Racecourse’s two-day Dubai Duty Free International Weekend fixture which begins on Friday.
Cardsharp, who is trained by Mark Johnston for Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai is likely to be joined by Enjazaat, who races in the colours of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, Godolphin’s Sound And Silence and the Saeed Manana-owned Invincible Army.
Johnston, who is looking for a third Mill Reef trophy following Moohaakim (2012) and Bouncing Bowdler (2000), sent out Cardsharp to win the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket.
The James Tate-trained Invincible Army was fourth in the July Stakes and subsequently finished runner-up in the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes at York, one place ahead of Cardsharp. The son of Invincible Spirit also gifted his trainer with a first Group race success in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton Park on September 9.
Enjazaat, trained by Owen Burrows at Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid’s Kingwood House Stables, was a comfortable winner of the Listed Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy on August 28.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO, Colm McLoughlin, said, “We are delighted to be back at the Newbury Racecourse for the 21st running of the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend, which is a great conclusion to our 2017 racing season. Our support of horse racing continues to play a major role in our marketing strategy as it provides an important platform for us to showcase our brand and an opportunity to promote Dubai as a centre of excellence for business, sport and leisure.”
Supporting racing at the meeting include the £60,000 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup over 11 furlongs, the five-furlong £65,000 Dubai International Airport World Trophy and the £75,000 Dubai Duty Free Handicap over 10 furlongs.
This season’s Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes fourth Muthmir, owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid and trained by William Haggas, headlines 24 entries for the Dubai International Airport Trophy over five furlongs.
A total of 31 confirmations for the 10-furlong £75,000 Dubai Duty Free Handicap includes York handicap winner Fidaawy, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute for Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid.
The Dubai Duty Free International Weekend starts with a seven-race card on Friday when the highlight is the Listed Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Cup over seven furlongs.