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Global Weekly Preview: No Harry but Invincible marches on

J A McGrath

What thoroughbred gem is waiting to be uncovered in Newbury's G2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes this weekend?

Presumptuous? Quite possibly it is. But remember, the last two runnings of this famous six-furlong juvenile race have been won by two of the best-performed Godolphin horses of recent times, Ribchester (2015) and Harry Angel (2016).

Of course, simply because horses of that high class win consecutive runnings of the Mill Reef (which commemorates owner Paul Mellon's great champion of 1971) doesn't mean it will happen again.

But it is a pretty reliable indicator that it is a race regularly ear-marked by owners and trainers of two-year-olds of above-average ability.

My idea of the winner this year is Saeed Manana's Invincible Army, who has continued to improve all year. 

In his first run, at Goodwood, he came up against the well-regarded Masar, being just touched off right on the line. Both horses have made great progress since.

Invincible Army, trained by James Tate, has since finished second in the G2 Gimcrack Stakes at York and won the G3 Sirenia Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton Park.

Joint-top-rated on official figures with Invincible Army is the Charlie Hills-trained Nebo, who happened to finish two and threequarter lengths behind the former in the Gimcrack.

That might well be the order in which they finish this Saturday.

British racing suffered a real blow when the popular Ayr Western Meeting had to be abandoned because the track was deemed waterlogged (in the straight) and unsafe for racing.

It will have been a financial disaster for Ayr, but also, it will not have gone down well with loyal fans of the fixture. Investigations into how and why it could happen are ongoing.