END OF SEASON REVIEW
Building on his first season as a trainer, George and his team at Saffron House have had a fantastic year. The yard sent out 23 winners in total, with a notable strike rate of 20% winners to runners.
What is perhaps more impressive is the stable’s strike rate in stakes races, having targeted 11 races, George’s horses have won or been placed in 8.
Unquestionably the main flag bearer for the yard has been James Garfield, the colt by Exceed and Excel was bred by his father in law Bill Gredley. He’s had a wonderful season being placed in the Windsor Castle, the Vintage and the Acomb before emphatically winning the Group 2 Mill Reef under Frankie Dettori. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out for him around Del Mar, never getting a run. The Greenham will be his first port of call next season, after which George and the Gredley’s will hopefully have the enviable task of deciding to target the 2000 Guineas or the Commonwealth Cup.
Another Batt has also been a star performer. He too has been a model of consistency for the trainer having run 7 times winning 3. He has only been out of the placings on one occasion and most importantly picked up a hugely lucrative prize in Istanbul winning the Trakya Trophy worth over €100,000 for Excel Racing.
Success has not only come from the Juvenile performers for George, Road to Dubai and Gilgamesh amongst others showed progression, consistency and class throughout the year. Road to Dubai rose 18lbs in the handicap clocking up 4 wins in the process. Gilgamesh has put himself in an exciting position for the big 7f-1m handicaps in 2018, his early season target will be the Victoria Cup at Ascot.
2018 looks sure to be exciting, along with the above-mentioned horses George and his team have the unexposed Mankind, Magnetic Boundary, Slipstream and Mewtow looking certain to have progressed both physically and mentally.
Speaking to George he said ‘I’d like to thank my staff for their loyalty, hard work and enthusiasm. In particular my assistant Alex, travelling head lad Chris and second head lads Lydia and Tom. We’ve had a wonderful year. James Garfield is quite simply a very good colt, I can’t wait for him next season. The yearlings look a lovey bunch so the dream is firmly alive. I can not leave without thanking my owners, nothing is possible without their support. I’m incredibly grateful.’