Known for being exceptionally competitive and capable of handling even the most challenging of circumstances, Mill Reef is a shining example of what hard work can achieve on the racecourse. With incredible wins in the early 70s, Mill Reef set a standard that is still exceptionally hard to live up to in this day and age. Before his career was cut short as a four year old, Mill Reef was one of the most respectable and consistent racehorses on the circuit.
With wins at major events such as the Epsom Derby and the Eclipse Stakes, Mill Reef managed a glut of major, big-time wins that others wouldn’t get near.
The famed contemporary of Brigadier Gerard, whom it lost to at the 2000 Guineas, Mill Reef ran 14 races, winning a whopping 12 of them. A successful career at two, three and four years old seen it win a glut of trophies in England and France, with the Coronation Cup its last recorded success.
This win was when the major problem with Mill Reef was discovered: suffering from a major viral infection, the horse took a long time to recover. Once it did, it took part in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the October of ’72. Sadl, it stumbled and heavily damaged a foreleg – difficult surgery took place, taking six hours, and the horse was saved. However, Mill Reef’ racing career was over and it instead became a popular stud.
It died in 1986, and is buried at the National Stud alongside a statue that showcases its incredible qualities on the course.
Achievements & Highlights
Wins – Coventry Stakes (1970), Gimcrack Stakes (1970), Dewhurst Stakes (1970), Greenham Stakes (1971), Epsom Derby (1971), Eclipse Stakes (1971), K. George VI & Q. Elizabeth Stakes (1971), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1971), Prix Ganay (1972), Coronation Cup (1972).
Associations – Paul Mellon, Ian Balding.