Connections of James Garfield, caught close home in a Group 1 in France on Sunday, have decided to fork out £15,600 to supplement their colt for the Group 1 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 8.
The George Scott-trained three-year-old ran the race of his life at Deauville under Frankie Dettori (pictured above), the unconsidered 42/1 shot having looked set to land the six-and-a-half furlong Prix Maurice de Gheest after leading for most of the race in first-time blinkers, only to be agonisingly collared in the dying strides by the smart Freddie Head-trained Polydream (58/10).
Bill Gredley’s home bred Exceed And Excel colt had previously run with credit when seventh of 21 over seven furlongs at Royal Ascot in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes won so impressively by Expert Eye having earlier in the term beaten Expert Eye in Newbury’s Group 3 Greenham Stakes to establish himself as a smart three-year-old.
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“We are going to go for the Sprint Cup at Haydock, which we need to supplement him for,” Scott confirmed to reporters on Wednesday. “He has come out of Sunday’s race incredibly well. I trained him very differently and tried to put the speed back into him. He will go on a sprinting campaign over the next 18 months. He has got an entry on Champions Day at Ascot or he could go for the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp. He will have two races then be freshened up for Dubai.
“We would certainly leave the headgear on him,” continued Scott. “We thought about Haydock just after the race as he was chinned so late on over six and a half furlongs. If it was six furlongs, like the Sprint Cup, he would have won a Group One – and a big Group One! He will take on many of the same horses again and Harry Angel will be in there as well, but he has had a few issues and we are going there with a race-fit horse.”
Totesport offer 8/1 about James Garfield for the Sprint Cup, but it is last year’s winner, Harry Angel, trained by Clive Cox, currently heads the market for the £300,000 Group 1 sprint at a top priced 7/2 with 888sport. July Cup hero US Navy Flag is next in the market at a best offer of 7/1 with 10Bet.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.