It was always going to be a career in racing for George. The love of a horse runs in the blood – as does an affinity with Newmarket, the globally recognised home of horseracing.
GEORGE SCOTT has ticked off many boxes in a remarkably short time since launching his training career at the end of 2015.
Group-race glory, international victories, success at British racing’s ’festival’ meetings and a lot of other notable achievements besides: George has wasted little time in creating a most favourable impression.
Along with the knowledge acquired when learning from some of the best, George’s own ‘feel’ for a racehorse has meant that his Newmarket-based business has gone from strength to strength.
The young trainer’s winning touch was superbly exemplified by his handling of the hugely talented James Garfield. The colt was high class at two, winning the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury as well as taking connections to a Breeders’ Cup the same season.
And George prepared the horse to perfection as he returned as a three-year-old with another Group-race triumph at Newbury, this time in the Greenham Stakes. A subsequent Group 1 win eluded James Garfield, but only narrowly. He ran a fine race in finishing second in the Prix Maurice du Gheest at Deauville and is now an exciting stallion at Rathbarry Stud.
George’s string trains from Hamilton Road at Saffron Stables, backing onto the famous Newmarket gallops and in the shadow of the Rowley Mile grandstand. George may be based within the home of horseracing but his vision extends to global targets. In 2017 Another Batt won a very lucrative prize in Turkey and early in 2019 triumphed at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
There has also been overseas success in Qatar underlining George’s knowledge of the international racing programme.
But scratch beneath the banner headlines and what becomes apparent is how this ambitious and determined man is showing a sure ability with all types of horse. The two-year-old prospect is identified and nurtured. The later maturing individual is given the time to develop before the potential is maximised. And the older horse is skilfully campaigned, placed to best effect. That diversity ensures every horse at Saffron Stables is given the ideal environment to make its mark.
Of course, racing is about winning, but it should also be fun. George’s open, friendly style ensures that the ownership experience with Saffron Stables is an enjoyable one. One of the core values of the yard is strong communication – whether that’s through the traditional route of regular phone calls and written reports, or via fresh media initiatives. George prides himself on being approachable and available to all his owners.
It’s perhaps not surprising that George is increasingly building a glowing reputation as he had an excellent grounding through his formative years. As an eager ‘pupil assistant’ he worked for Paul Nicholls and Mark Tompkins. Then, at Michael Bell’s – the man George still refers to as ‘Guv’ – he was around Group 1 stars such as Wigmore Hall and Margot Did.
There was international experience: a stint at Belmont Park in America under trainer Eddie Kenneally broadened his education before George returned to Newmarket and the revered Warren Place stable where he served as assistant to Lady Cecil. It was a special, unforgettable time with Frankel’s brother Noble Mission winning a Champion Stakes.
It was with a former Warren Place inmate, Hamelin, that George had his first ever runner. The horse finished second in a Listed race before the rookie trainer opened his account at just the third attempt.
That first winner felt like the start of something special. Nothing has changed. There is very much still the belief that the business of George Scott Racing will compete – and win – at the very top. It already has, but it just feels like the best is yet to come.