Can Eve Johnson-Houghton beat the big trainers with her exciting two-year-old Mister Sketch? Here the 2023 Mill Reef Stakes betting preview!
Mill Reef Stakes
Grade 2 – Purse $123,000 – 6 furlongs – Turf – 2-Year-Olds
The Mill Reef Stakes is a major race near the end of the flat season for the two-year-olds who are trying to lay down a marker for the 2024 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket in May.
Normally we’d expect to see the O’Brien, Gosden or Appleby have the chalk here but it is up-and-coming trainer Eve Johnson Houghton who has that honor with Mister Sketck.
The son of Territories is less exposed than many of his foes with just the two career starts so far. He was second on his debut but broke the maiden tag next time when routing his rivals by over nine and a half lengths in a novice stakes at Salisbury.
He is a talented colt but the third horse has since put in an ordinary speed figure, which suggests Mister Sketch might be short at 3/1.
There are plenty with winning form, including Array who took a step forward last time when finishing third in the 2023 Grade 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton Park.
That followed on from the maiden breaker two back when he won his first try at novice stakes company, winning easily by four lengths at Newmarket.
The Andrew Balding inmate is certainly on an upward trajectory and he holds strong chances.
Also fancied on the morning line is Seven Questions who is one of the most experienced here and has hit the board in six of seven runs with a 7-3-2-1-0 record.
He was fourth of fourteen on debut but broke the maiden tag at the third attempt and then followed up the next two times to win handicaps from a rating of 82.
He then stepped up the class ladder to hit the board on his next two assignments, the 2023 Listed Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy at Ripon and last time when second in the 2023 Sirenia Stakes when a half-length in front of another of today’s foes Array.
He is a strong closer and there should be plenty of speed here with Matters Most trying to go gate-to-wire.
Haatem has the best form in the race with his win in the 2023 Grade 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood but he may need further and could be outspeeded.
A longshot for exotics is Roman Emperor who was third in his only start in a hot maiden over this course back in June. He looks sure to step forward.
2023 Mill Reef Stakes Odds
|Horse||Jockey||Horse Racing Odds by Jazzsports|
|Mister Sketch||Charles Bishop||+300|
|Seven Questions||Callum Shepherd||+400|
|Red Zone Hero||Tom Marquand||+800|
|Matters Most||Hector Crouch||+900|
|Spanish Phoenix||James Doyle||+2500|
|Roman Emperor||Kevin Stott||+5000|
Mister Sketch is the chalk but he looks very short on the morning line and is passed over, with Array looking sure to be one to hit the board here.
However, he has already been beaten by SEVEN QUESTIONS, and it is the George Scott-trained colt who gets the nod in a tight race.
Both Haatem and Roman Emperor can be battling for a slice underneath.
Check out the 2023 Mill Reef Stakes Recap
Don’t forget to Sign-up and get up to a 10% horse rebate. Get the best horse betting Free Picks & promotions.
Follow us on Social Media for more Mill Reef Stakes updates!