Royal Ascot winners among 34 acceptors for Mill Reef Stakes

Buratino and Waterloo Bridge feature among 34 confirmations for the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Dubai Duty Free Saturday, September 19.

Buratino (Mark Johnston) captured the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and subsequently finished third to Air Force Blue in the Group One Phoenix Stakes in Ireland, while Waterloo Bridge (Aidan O’Brien) has not run since annexing the five-furlong Group Two Norfolk Stakes, also at Royal Ascot in June.

Yorkshire-based trainer Mark Johnston has eight entries remaining in the £75,000 race, the most of any handler, including Group Two Lowther Stakes runner-up Lumiere and Listed scorer Whitman.

William Haggas, based in Newmarket, has three contenders going forward, headed by Ajaya and Raucous who were first and third respectively in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York. The Newmarket trainer’s other entry Tasleet was also in action at York, landing the valuable DBS Premier Yearling Stakes.

Raucous was having the third start of his career, having captured a Sandown Park maiden and a novice event at Newmarket, and is now under consideration for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.

Harry Herbert, managing director of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing which organises the syndicate of owners who own the two-year-old colt, said: “We were thrilled with Raucous in the Gimcrack.

“He ran very well to finish third, despite breaking slowly and being a bit green and I definitely thought he was one of those to take out of the race.

“We may go for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes next with him or the other option is to step up to seven furlongs for the Somerville Stakes at Newmarket (September 24). We haven’t decided yet if we should stick to six or go up, but he is very progressive and we rate him highly.”

Raucous could lock horns again with Gimcrack Stakes runner-up Ribchester who, along with Weatherbys Super Sprint winner Lathom, has been left in by trainer Richard Fahey.

Champion trainer Richard Hannon has four possible runners, headed by the Al Shaqab Racing-owned pair of Gutaifan, runner-up in the Group One Prix Morny last time out, and King Of Rooks.

Other interesting contenders include the unbeaten duo, King Robert (Bryan Smart) and Dhahmaan (Marco Botti), plus Group Two July Stakes runner-up Steady Pace (Saeed bin Suroor).

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