Dubai: Dubai-owned horses look to have strong chances at this weekend’s Dubai Duty Free International Weekend, the final event of the airport retailer’s annual horseracing sponsorship portfolio in the UK and Ireland, which takes place at Newbury Racecourse.
Dubai Duty free sponsor nine races across the two exciting days of racing where the highlight is the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes, a premier six-furlong contest for two-year-olds which in recent years has been won by the likes of Godolphin’s Harry Angel and Ribchester.
The feature event of the opening day’s action on Friday, is the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup where two colts with a Dubai connection look to have genuine claims.
Mankib carries the colours of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, while Red Mist represents Major General Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security.
Bred by Godolphin, Red Mist has knocked at the door of the top level with some positive efforts in Listed company before flattening his rivals in a conditions event at Rippon on his most recent start.
He is the ante-post favourite to notch a maiden Patter race.
Mankib, trained by William Haggas has won on two of his four starts this season including over this course and distance back in July, but will need to step up to make an impression in this group.
Meanwhile, Dubai Duty Free will join hands with Newbury Racecourse to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Mill Reef, the champion racehorse and sire whose outstanding career included victories in the Derby, the Eclipse, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Mill Reef was trained at Kingsgate, close to Newbury, by Ian Balding who will be among Dubai Duty Free’s guests at the meeting.
The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes is supported by two Group 3 events, the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup and the Dubai International Airport World Trophy and the Listed Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Dubai Duty Free’s horseracing sponsorship portfolio comprises title sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Meeting at Newbury (April), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh (June), the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot (August) and the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend with the combined total value of races standing at more than pounds 2.4 million.