By Harry Allwood
George Scott confirmed on Sunday that James Garfield will be aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf after coming out of his record-breaking win in the Mill Reef Stakes in fine fettle.
The son of Exceed And Excel won the Group Two feature at Newbury in a course record time and is now a general 7-1 chance for the Grade One event at Del Mar on November 3.
“He has been trotted up this morning and is sound,” Scott said on Racing UK show Luck On Sunday. “He lost his normal amount of weight and is happily out in his pen so it all looks good from that point of view.
“We talked a lot about the Breeders’ Cup before the race. Frankie [Dettori] thought it was a good option for him and I don’t think he did anything yesterday to sway us.
“With it being this time of year, there aren’t many options. The horse is progressing beautifully and the tight turns around Del Mar should not be a problem.”
Scott spent a short period of time working for trainer Simon Callaghan in California before he was headhunted by Lady Jane Cecil in 2013 and spent two years as assistant trainer at Warren Place Stables.
He said: “I have always wanted to go back to California with a horse but I didn’t think I would be going back quite this quickly.”
“The Breeders Cup’ is a massive event and it’s a privilege to be even talking about taking a horse there. It’s the pinnacle of so many people’s careers winning races there.
“I have some friends over there who didn’t think I would be coming back this quick either. It’s going to be a wonderful trip.”
A day earlier at Newbury, the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Magnolia Springs had won a 7f fillies’ conditions stakes in taking style on her debut.
The daughter of Shamardal, who was sent off a 25-1 chance, was held up before hitting the front a furlong out and powered home to win by three and a half lengths.
Her victory might have come as a surprise to punters but not for Blewbury-based trainer Johnson Houghton.
A guest on Luck On Sunday, she said: “She’s pretty exciting. From the moment she walked in the yard I fell in love with her. I think she’s gorgeous.
“She has done everything we have asked of her which is very little. She has never been off the bridle at home and has not done much work. She does everything so easily.
“I thought she would run a big race so it was not a surprise when she won. Most people in the yard had a bet on her.
“We’ll see how she comes out of the race as she’s a big, raw filly. She’s lost a bit of weight from the race but ate up and there is not a bother on her. She doesn’t know what she’s done really.
“We will possibly aim her at a Listed race next. The Radley Stakes over seven furlongs at Newbury next month is an option, although we may put her away and wait until next year.”
Magnolia Springs is a general 33-1 for the 1,000 Guineas.