By Racinguk.com staff
James Garfield is on course to give trainer George Scott his first Classic runner after posting a second Group success at Newbury in the Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Greenham Stakes.
Winner of the Mill Reef Stakes last September, Exceed And Excel colt showed he had trained on by producing a battling display to gain a narrow verdict at the expense of drifting favourite Expert Eye.
Hey Gaman made the running and stuck on gamely as his rivals closed in with James Garfield (3-1) challenging strongly on the stands side to collect the Classic trial by three-quarters of a length.
Expert Eye, who had been as short as Evens in the morning, took second place at 7-4 by a short head from Hey Gaman.
Scott said: "Anyone looking at him in the paddock could see he was fit and ready today and I liked the way he finished off his race so well.
"His attitude, his will to win and his toughness make him what he is and he'll be my first Classic runner in the Guineas in two weeks. It's just a dream for me and I feel so very lucky.
"We were going away from the others at the line and Frankie was delighted. He's so cool in these situations while I'm there shaking like a tree.
"I'm pretty confident Frankie will ride him at Newmarket as he's a close friend of the Gredleys (owners). He lived next door to them for 10 years."
James Garfield is a best-priced 25-1 with Coral and as short as 16-1, while Expert Eye is the same price having been as as short as 8-1 in th emorning. Dettori, who performed his customary flying dismount, was hardly advising a plunge on the winner, however.
"He is a little horse with a massive heart," he said.
"You can see when he gallops he gets his head down like a Jack Russell. He's got a lot of courage. He handles any ground and undulations and by the way he won he is entitled to be there. I'm not saying he is going to win, but he is entitled to be there. I am available for the ride, too."
Sir Michael Stoute, trainer of Expert Eye, felt the ground may not have been ideal adn that the spon of Acclamation was coming along mentally.
"Ryan said they went very slowly," Stoute said.
"He has come a a long way because we have had difficulty in the stalls during the spring. "This was a lot better than the last time we schooled him at Newmarket on racecourse side.
"Gary (Witherford) and his son have done a lot of work with him. He was pretty calm today and just needed a shove in.
"He wants quicker ground. We'll see how he comes through this. We are in no hurry to make a decision as to which Guineas to go to."