Mill Reef. Was he the greatest of them all?

Mill Reef. Was he the greatest of them all?

Brigadier Gerard, Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Frankel. The four greatest racehorses of my lifetime. In no particular order.

If you pushed me, Brigadier Gerard would have to be the best and Nijinsky unquestionably my favourite. The first named would have wiped the floor with Frankel (apologies to the millennials who think Frankel is the greatest).

Mill Reef was an exceptional thoroughbred. In 1971 alone he won the Greenham Stakes, the Derby, Eclipse Stakes, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

After retirement from racing Mill Reef sired the likes of Shirley Heights, winner of the Derby at Epsom and the Irish Derby in 1978.

At Newbury last Saturday the John Gosden trained Kessaar won the race named after Mill Reef.

In this two part Racing Post video feature, Ian Balding talks about the greatest racehorse he ever trained. Mill Reef was born 50 years ago. Thanks to some surviving archive footage, a new generation can watch the mighty one in action.

Watch part 1 here

Watch part 2 here


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