Dubai: Dubai Duty Free’s horseracing season reaches its finale with the two-day Dubai Duty Free International Weekend at Newbury Racecourse in the UK, beginning on Friday.
Dubai Duty Free is responsible for no fewer than nine of the meeting’s 14 scheduled races, including on Friday the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup.
Marcus Tregoning is hoping Impressor can live up to his name and deliver the trainer his second Newbury Group race win of the year in Saturday’s showpiece, the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.
The Derby-winning trainer saddled Mohaather to land the Group 3 Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes at the track in April and earmarked the feature prize of Dubai Duty Free International Weekend for Impressor after he recorded an easy win at Salisbury last month.
Impressor was one of 14 five-day acceptors for the Group 2 prize, named after legendary Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, Mill Reef, and which has been won in the past by the likes of Harry Angel and Godolphin’s Ribchester.
Richard Hannon has included Mystery Power, winner of the Group 2 Superlative Stakes this summer, while Shadn, a previous course winner who finished third in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes represents Andrew Balding’s Park House Stables in Kingsclere from where father, Ian, orchestrated the Mighty Mill Reef’s outstanding campaign.
Impressor finished an unlucky fourth on his Goodwood debut but made no mistake next time out when winning a novice race at Salisbury by three-and-a-half lengths on good to soft going.
“We are very pleased with the way Impressor has taken that Salisbury race. We will find out how good he is but, hopefully, he will go there with a reasonable chance," said Tregoning.
“He was unlucky at Goodwood but he was quite an inexperienced horse and that can catch them out, especially jumping out straight down that hill.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased with the way he won that race at Salisbury. He won it very, very well and he’s worked well since. He does have a lot of speed. We had him in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, which I am sure he would have gone very well in but decided he shows so much speed we would keep him to the six furlongs for now.”
The £75,000 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes will be one of three Group races staged on Saturday’s card, which also features the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup, Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes and the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.
Newbury racegoers visiting the Dubai Duty Free marquee can sample complimentary Arabic coffee and dates and enter free prize draws to win Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise and Millennium Millionaire tickets offering prizes for a luxury car or $1 million respectively.