But after a narrow win in the Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs, by a neck from Homeric, Mill Reef was found to be suffering from a heavy virus, and the rematch had to be postponed.

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Back on home soil, he was entered in the Gimcrack Stakes at York in mid August.

After a torrential overnight downpour turned the going into a quagmire, his trainer wanted to scratch him from the race.

Coventry Stakes (1970) Gimcrack Stakes (1970) Dewhurst Stakes (1970) Greenham Stakes (1971) Epsom Derby (1971) Eclipse Stakes (1971) K. Elizabeth Stakes (1971) Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (1971) Prix Ganay (1972) Coronation Cup (1972) Mill Reef (1968–1986) was a Champion Thoroughbred racehorse and sire.

He was bred in the United States but was trained in the United Kingdom throughout his racing career which lasted from 1970 to 1972.

Kept in training as a four-year-old, Mill Reef returned to Longchamp to win the Prix Ganay in April 1972 by ten lengths (though photographs of the finish make it closer to twelve lengths).

A summer rematch with Brigadier Gerard, who had also been kept in training as a four-year-old, was earmarked for the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.The inner sesamoid bone was completely shattered, and the rim of the top of the main pastern bone was damaged.It seemed likely that the inner sesamoid bone was the first to break, with the result on the next step that the fetlock was not braced and the foot and the pastern were pointing outwards.and the decision was made to go to France for the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte.After an arduous journey, Mill Reef tasted defeat for the first time by the narrowest of margins to another exceptional English two-year-old, My Swallow.Once, whilst visiting the stables and watching the yearlings being put through their paces on the Kingsclere gallops, the noted former amateur jockey and journalist Lord Oaksey asked, "Who's that? " and he went on to prove himself to be an outstanding two year old in 1970.