Mill Reef Stakes betting tips: Kessaar fancied to follow-up at Newbury

Kessaar heads the Mill Reef Stakes betting tips given by Horsebetting.com experts for the feature 6f Group 2 juvenile sprint on Saturday, 22 September. John Gosden’s Kodiac colt is fancied to follow-up on a taking all-weather success last time out. Shine So Bright is feared most in a hotly competitive renewal for in-form trainer Andrew Balding. Konchek, meanwhile, looks overpriced and each-way value if treated on the pick of his form. Learn more in our 2018 Mill Reef Stakes betting tips preview.

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Odds
9/2
Selection
Kessaar
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Odds
7/2
Danger
Shine So Bright
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Odds
14/1
E/W
Konchek
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Kessaar can continue progress in Mill Reef

The juvenile sorts contesting this year’s Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday (14:55) are much of a muchness; so, in a wide-open renewal, Kessaar is put forward as a value bet to land the spoils now on the upgrade. Trained by John Gosden, this Kodiac colt is two from four at the 6f trip of the feature Group 2 contest and has been impressive when winning.

After keeping on when badly hampered to finish a half-a-length second to I’m A Dreamer on his debut at York, Kessaar was well below par when dropping back to the flying 5f in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although beaten 18 lengths by Soldier’s Call and well down the field, he showed that running to be all wrong when scoring at the third attempt next time up.

Making virtually all in a Windsor novice event when back over this distance, Kessaar bolted up by 10 lengths to show why connections had pitched him in at Listed level previously. He returned to that grade on his penultimate started in the Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy at Ripon where he shaped better than the bare result suggests when sixth to Sporting Chance.

Kessaar reared at the start and dwelt but was soon chasing the leaders and, given how the race panned out, did well to be beaten just two lengths. Connections again knew there was more to come from him and he got the black type that his potential warranted last time out in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton.

Having taken a keen hold, Kessaar tracked the leaders and was switched, then made real headway under pressure to lead 100 yards from home and ran on strongly to score by 2 1/2 lengths from Junius Brutus. The way he soon went clear at the business end of affairs was a demonstration of what this one is capable of.

The assessor has had his say, putting Kessaar up 9lb to a mark of 107 which should put him bang in contention to be involved in the finish here. Five of the horses in the nine-runner field are all rated within a pound of each other; so, with the prospect of further improvement still to come, he is a tentative suggestion for the spoils and value to do so at the odds on offer.

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Shine So Bright feared most

A case can be made for a few of these as dangers, but the claims of in-form trainer Andrew Balding’s runner Shine So Bright are the most obvious. Consistency is highly prized with two-year-olds and his consecutive 1 1/4 lengths thirds in the grade last month mean he’s going close rather than being in and out.

After comfortably winning a Nottingham maiden, this son of Oasis Dream out of a Sir Percy mare shaped with promise when beaten just 5 3/4 lengths by Calyx and fifth in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. Shine So Bright was purchased by his current owners King Power Racing off the back of this effort and left the care of Karl Burke to join his current handler.

He was then sent to Glorious Goodwood for the Richmond Stakes where he was denied a clear run at a key stage of the race. That didn’t stop Shine So Bright from staying on under pressure in the hands of Oisin Murphy inside the last 100 yards and he nabbed third in the final strides.

As he finished a neck behind the re-opposing Marie’s Diamond, who is vastly more exposed by comparison, there is every chance of him reversing the form here. Shine So Bright also had another who re-opposes in Konchek trailing him the same distance in fourth.

While he couldn’t quite live with the front-running Emaraaty Ana in the Gimcrack Stakes at York last time out, he placed ahead of another exposed looking rival in The Irish Rover. With Shine So Bright knocking on the door, and Murphy back in the saddle, a bold bid to do better looks on the cards.

Konchek overpriced and worth an each-way wager

There’s still a feeling we haven’t quite got to the bottom of the aforementioned Konchek and, as plenty have something to prove in this renewal, he looks overpriced and therefore each-way value at double figure odds to make the frame. Trained by Clive Cox, the son of Lethal Force has never gone left-handed before but the way he did at the start last time out might suggest that sort of track will suit him better.

Konchek has far from disgraced himself with some of his subsequent efforts after scoring on debut by 1 3/4 lengths in a 5f Newmarket maiden. He was pressing for second in the shadows of the post next time up in a Listed affair at Sandown when beaten just half-a-length into third by Vintage Brut.

Connections then went to the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot where Konchek finished in front of that rival when beaten two lengths and fifth to Shang Shang Shang. He then put in a career-best performance stepping up to 6f for the first time and chasing home Martyn Meade’s top juvenile prospect Advertise by the same margin in the July Stakes at Newmarket.

Given the winner has since landed a Group 1 over in Ireland and is so highly-regarded, it was a great effort from Konchek. Norfolk third Land Force then confirmed the Royal Ascot form with him in the Group 2 Richmond and he lost two places late on to finish a 1 1/2 lengths fourth.

As there is little between many lining up in the Mill Reef, however, a more tactically run race looks likely. Konchek took a keen hold and raced too freely when eased in grade to contest the Sirenia Stakes against Kessaar and tiring late on to be fourth again, so it’s interesting that connections have replaced apprentice jockey Hector Crouch with the highly experienced Gerald Mosse here.

If ridden with more restraint, and treated on the pick of his form, he has a chance of making the frame. At the odds on offer, then, Konchek is worth one more each-way wager at a big price among our 2018 Mill Reef Stakes betting tips.

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