George Scott has James Garfield primed for Sprint Cup mission

Fri 31 Aug 2018

George Scott believes it would be fitting if stable star James Garfield can provide him with the first Group One winner of his career in the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday week.

Having given the Newmarket handler his maiden domestic Pattern-race triumph in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury last year, the son of Exceed And Excel seeks another milestone moment in the six-furlong contest, for which he requires supplementing.

The Bill Gredley-owned three-year-old took his form to a new level on his last start, when leaving behind his below-par effort in the Jersey Stakes at Ascot as he found only Polydream too strong in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

Scott said: “I think it was a pretty amazing run in France, he blazed a trail against many Group One winners and led them a merry dance for most of the race. It was a massive step up on what he had done.

“On reflection I am delighted with him and how he has progressed. I’m still disappointed he didn’t win in France, but hopefully he can put that right in Group One company on this occasion.

“Anything involving James Garfield is special to us, as he has flown the flag for us and was bred by the Gredley team and we’ve had a lot of fun with him.

“Winning the Sprint Cup would be extra special on a number of different levels. He has been a remarkable horse for us and I hope he can win a Group One.”

Harry Angel will be one of the stumbling blocks for James Garfield in the Sprint Cup
Harry Angel will be one of the stumbling blocks for James Garfield in the Sprint Cup

With trainer Clive Cox giving the green light for last year’s winner Harry Angel to take his chance in the race, it will present a new rival for James Garfield, one which Scott is looking forward to taking on.

He added: “Preparation is really important and we’ve come in off the back of a career-best run and he (Harry Angel) is coming in off the back of a disappointing effort. However, he has got a perfect record at the track.

“He is well clear on the ratings and has proven himself as a Group One-winning sprinter more than once, therefore he looks to be the one to beat.

“We’ve got to bridge that gap with him, but we come there as the young pretender.”

Frankie Dettori leaps from James Garfield after winning last season's Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury
Frankie Dettori leaps from James Garfield after winning last season's Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury

While riding arrangements are still to be finalised, Scott is hopeful of securing the services of Frankie Dettori, who has partnered James Garfield in six of his 12 starts.

He said: “The plan is to pick Frankie up from Kempton, providing Mr (John) Gosden doesn’t have any other runners, after he has ridden Enable and fly him up to Haydock. That is the plan at this stage, as long as everything falls into place.”

Looking beyond his next start, a trip to Ascot is likely to be on the cards for a shot at the Qipco British Champions Sprint on October 20, before a decision will be made on his future.

Frankie Dettori and James Garfield on the way to winning the Greenham Stakes at Newbury
Frankie Dettori and James Garfield on the way to winning the Greenham Stakes at Newbury

Scott said: “We will see what happens at Haydock, we will probably have to rethink things, but my understanding is he will stay in training as a four-year-old.

“If he does he will probably run at Haydock, then go to Ascot, but he will probably do that even if he does finish this year.

“If he does stay in training he will start back in the Al Quoz in Dubai, but that is not a decision I’m paid to make.”

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