Wednesday 17 January 2018

Dettori has last laugh on funny horse Garfield

James Garfield and Frankie Dettori win The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. Photo: PA
James Garfield and Frankie Dettori win The Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. Photo: PA

Graham Clark

James Garfield gave trainer George Scott the first Group win of his career with a clear-cut success in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

Agonisingly beaten on the line in the Acomb Stakes at York, he was sent off 100-30 to go one better and Frankie Dettori made no mistake.

Running in the colours of Bill Gredley, who is Scott's new father-in-law, James Garfield burst clear with a furlong to run. Charlie Hills' Nebo and the 5-2 favourite Invincible Army came out of the pack to challenge, but this time James Garfield was not to be denied. The Exceed And Excel colt had three-quarters of a length in hand over the favourite as they crossed the line.

"The owner is a good friend of mine and I'd like to say congratulations to George as he only got married last weekend," said Dettori. "Over a few glasses of Champagne, he was telling me how this horse was going to win today and he was absolutely right.

"He's a funny horse, he just got touched off at York but now I think he's off to America. He stays seven, but this was a good opportunity over six. This is George's biggest win."

"We went away for a couple of days in Majorca," said Scott, "but we are going on a proper honeymoon in January. I got married a week ago today so it has been a pretty amazing week. He has danced every dance this year and has been unlucky on several occasions. He has shown it over five, six and seven furlongs now, so he is a pretty versatile horse. He has improved physically the whole time and I am slightly lost for words really.

"It was all pretty smooth for Frankie. He said he was where he wanted to be, although he lost his position, he had plenty of horse and hit the line great - it was dream stuff really.

"We will go to the Breeders' Cup now. The Breeders' Cup has always been the race we've been wanting to go to.

"Exceed and Excel's have always gone great out there, he has got tactical speed and he will get a tight mile. Since he sat on him at York, Frankie has always been keen to go to the Breeders' Cup. If he ran in the first four here, that was the plan."

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