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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Garfield bound for US after pleasing Scott in Chelmsford trial

James Garfield: Mill Reef Stakes winner is heading for the Juvenile Turf
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Mill Reef Stakes winner James Garfield showed he was equipped for his Breeders' Cup date with Frankie Dettori next month when he skipped round Chelmsford as part of his preparation for two-turn Del Mar racecourse.

The colt impressed trainer George Scott and his rider Michael Hills on Saturday morning as he kept tight to the rail when he stretched out over about six furlongs round the bottom bend of the Essex track with the 92-rated stablemate Gilgamesh.

James Garfield, who will contest the Juvenile Turf, will be Scott's first runner at the Breeders' Cup.

Scott said: "He breezed six furlongs but it was more an educational piece of work than trying to finding anything out. It was more a prep for what he might encounter when he gets to Del Mar. We've never had any issues on bends, we train him round a bend and he really is tailor-made for a sharp track. It's really no concern."

Hills said: "I haven't sat on him since April and he's like a different horse. He's really put himself together and feels a proper two-year-old.

"I love the way he switched leads and did exactly what I asked him. I scooted up the inside and when he changed legs he opened up for about 50 yards. I was impressed.

"Those turns at Del Mar are sharp. If you've a horse on the wrong leg you lose lengths."

James Garfield runs in the Big Orange colours of Bill and Tim Gredley, Scott's father-in-law and brother-in-law. He has won twice this season, including when beating Invincible Army to claim the Mill Reef last time out.

"He goes for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, for which he's one of the favourites off the back of that Mill Reef win," said Scott.

"He has to step up from six furlongs to a mile, but he has seen out a stiff seven on soft ground at York and he's out out of a Daylami mare so the trip should be no problem on faster ground.

"It's an ambition of any young trainer to have a runner at the Breeders' Cup. Most importantly it's a race that fits this horse, and it's very exciting to be taking him out there. We always hoped a good horse would come along early in my career and it seems like he is that horse."

Scott was working with Simon Callaghan in California before he returned to Britain to assist Lady Cecil prior to striking out on his own.

"It's exciting to go back there so soon," Scott added. "I know I'll be taking James Garfield there in really good form so if the bookmakers and the form guys want to have him near the head of the market, he should give the best of his running.

"It's great to have Frankie riding him. He's a great friend of Tim and Bill Gredley and mine. He has achieved everything he has wished to achieve in his career and it adds to the excitement for him to be doing it for friends.

"He has a wealth of experience out there and is riding beautifully at the moment so it's all falling into place."

I scooted up the inside and when he changed legs he opened up for about 50 yards. I was impressed
E.W. Terms
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