Tag Archive for: George Scott

Rocket Rodney powers to Dragon Stakes victory

Newmarket handler George Scott has a slew of options for talented sprinter Rocket Rodney – including a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup – after the Shaikh Nassar-owned colt powered to victory in the Coral Dragon Stakes at Sandown.

The son of Dandy Man, who was an excellent second to Little Big Bear in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, was sent off the even-money favourite for the five-furlong Listed event.

Rocket Rodney tracked main market rival Eddie’s Boy, but Daniel Muscutt barely moved a muscle as he drew upsides a furlong and a half out and strode clear to beat the staying-on Cuban Mistress by two and a half lengths.

Scott will now head to Goodwood for the Molcomb and is also eyeing the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in November, with potentially a run in the Gimcrack at York in between.

Scott said: “He is a horse that has shown plenty at home from day one. We went to Royal Ascot thinking we had a chance of running a big race, but to go and bump into Aidan’s (O’Brien) horse, it was obviously frustrating and he got beat by a better horse on the day.

“I felt like Ascot made a man of him. He came back a different persona and it reflected in his run today.

“At Royal Ascot winning is everything, but if you have a young horse to look forward to, you can walk away excited as well. I think he will be a better horse with something to aim at. He is one of the most laid-back horses I have ever trained. He doesn’t do too much until he’s asked.

“He will go to the Molcomb provided he is in good order. He has already shown a liking for the track and nearly broke the track record on his second start.”

On the possibility of a trip to Keeneland, Scott added: “That was a bit of a trial for him. Dandy Man is not a nominated stallion so we had to pay 20 grand to get him in the Breeders’ Cup and I said that if he won like that today, he would be nominated for the new race – the five-furlong race on the undercard.

“We might try something like a Gimcrack – a flat six (furlongs), I might put him in the Gimcrack.

“Everyone is keen to push distances, but this is a fast horse and we will try to keep him as a fast horse for as long as possible. It is just that the five-furlong programme dries up ever so slightly.”

Rocket Rodney ready to roar in Dragon Stakes

George Scott is looking to keep his Windsor Castle Stakes second Rocket Rodney busy over the next few months and already has his next two runs pencilled in the diary, starting with an appearance in the Dragon Stakes at Sandown on Friday.

The Dandy Man youngster was beaten only a neck by Aidan O’Brien’s 6-5 favourite Little Big Bear at Royal Ascot and Scott believes pushing a horse the calibre of the winner all the way is a good indication there is plenty more to come from the 18,000 guineas buy.

“We were thrilled with his run, but in the same breath disappointed to finish second,” said Scott.

“We were probably just unlucky to bump into what probably is Aidan’s best five-furlong colt, but he ran a blinder and like a lot of these unexposed, lightly raced two-year-olds, he probably got a bit lonely when he found himself out in front. But we bumped into a good winner who was the best horse in the race on the day for sure.”

Rocket Rodney will remain at Listed level for his upcoming assignment at Sandown, but could move on to Group company after that, with the Molecomb Stakes during the Qipco Glorious Goodwood Festival on the agenda.

“You would expect having run so well in a Windsor Castle you would be able to flick over to a Dragon Stakes and be favourite and go and win it, but it is going to take plenty of winning, it’s a really competitive race. I’m really looking forward to the race and really pleased with Rocket Rodney,” said Scott.

“He’s come out of Ascot really well and I think that race really made a man of him. I’ve been really pleased with him since and I’m keen to run him in the Dragon Stakes very much as a stepping stone to the Molecomb at Goodwood.”

The youngster opened his account with an impressive display on the Sussex Downs in April and the Newmarket-based handler is relishing the prospect of returning to the course with a more experienced operator.

He continued: “The Molecomb is a very obvious race for him in the sense that he handled Goodwood really well – he almost broke the track record there on his second start.

“If he was a horse that kind of needed freshening up between races then I would skip the Dragon Stakes, but he loves racing and training and I think he needs a run between now and Goodwood.

“His mind is just bombproof, he is probably the quietest horse in the yard and for a young sprinter, that is a huge asset. He almost fell asleep down at the start of the Windsor Castle and I’m hoping that is going to be a massive asset for him moving forward.”

Scott targeting Britannia run with George Peabody

George Scott is hopeful the promising George Peabody will make the cut for the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot later in the month.

The three-year-old was impressive in winning both of his two starts this season, beginning his campaign with victory in a seven-furlong novice at Doncaster before going on to score over a mile at Thirsk.

Those performances have earned the gelding an official rating of 89, a mark that may leave him on the cusp of qualification for the one-mile Ascot handicap.

“Since he won at Doncaster, the plan has always been to try to end up in the Britannia,” Scott said.

“It’s been the plan since then, I’ve been very pleased with his training and he’s a very uncomplicated horse. We’re just really praying now that we sneak in off the bottom.

“By winning at Thirsk, we found ourselves right on the periphery of where you need to be to get into the Britannia on 89.”

Royal Ascot’s extended 2020 programme of races included a 10-furlong handicap for three-year-olds, the Golden Gates Stakes, a race that has been retained this season and Scott thinks some possible Britannia entrants might also be considered for that race.

“I guess with the additional 10-furlong three-year-old handicap, that could slightly go in our favour as I would imagine a few horses would be multiple-entered in the two races,” Scott explained.

“I’m very pleased with him and excited about the prospect of running him in a race like that – I’m just really hoping we will get in as he’s going to be right on the borderline.”

The bay encountered good and good to firm ground on his two victories, though his trainer is confident he would perform on all conditions bar soft.

“The only thing that would worry me would be soft ground,” he said.

“But looking at the long-term weather forecast, it does seem unlikely that we’re going to get that, though we do live in England so you’re never sure.

“He’d certainly appreciate faster ground, but he’s a versatile horse, he’s easy to train and he’s very much on target for Ascot.

“He’s a rider’s dream, you can have him where you like and he’ll drop his head and relax for you.

“I’m very pleased with him. He’s a smart horse with plenty of progression left in him and I still feel like he could be very well treated off his opening handicap mark.”

Fellowes finds himself rooting for ‘George Scott’ victory at Newmarket

Charlie Fellowes is banking on the equine George Scott to do him proud as he raises the stakes at Newmarket this weekend.

Fellowes and his fellow trainer and near neighbour George Scott have created confusion and amusement in near equal measure with their joint venture this summer to each run a new juvenile recruit named after one another and in the same ownership.

It is all starting to get serious too, though – as was always intended – after Scott’s Charlie Fellowes opened his account at the seventh attempt last week with a seven-length win at Beverley.

Fellowes is about to up the ante again as George Scott makes his third career start in Saturday’s £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes.

Both geldings are providing handy promotion by running in the colours of the two trainers’ Offthebridle podcast – and if George Scott can make a splash in the valuable sales race, he will be putting Fellowes’ nose nicely back in front.

George Scott (white cap) in action at Ascot
George Scott (white cap) in action at Ascot (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

At that suggestion, Fellowes said: “Exactly – we think they’re both pretty decent horses, and could both easily pick up some nice prizes

“For two horses who were bought for less than 20 grand, we’re pretty delighted with what we’ve come up with.”

He does admit to marginally mixed feelings, and no little uncertainty about exactly how to behave, when watching his namesake run for a rival stable – albeit in his own part-ownership.

“It is strange, but only because I hate cheering on other people’s horses!” said Fellowes.

“To cheer on a horse trained by someone else feels very alien.

“But the whole thing has been a really good experience. The only sad thing is that we really put the syndicate together for a bit of fun, to do some social stuff, which we obviously haven’t been able to do this year (because of coronavirus crowd restrictions).”

He is hoping George Scott will have his many supporters cheering at the necessary social distance, though, at HQ – having run with promise on both starts so far.

“That’s the plan,” said Fellowes.

“This has been a long-term plan, all along.

“He worked (on Wednesday morning) on the grass, and worked very nicely.”

Fellowes suspects George Scott may prove adept over a longer trip in time, but he is nonetheless optimistic.

“There will be a fine question mark over the six (furlongs), whether he’s quite got the speed for it,” he added.

“But there’s a lot of rain forecast, and we’d be wanting as much rain as possible for him.

“I think he’s got sharper and sharper with each run.

“It’s obviously quite a tough race, and he’s got quite a bit to find with a few of the top horses.

“But as a lot people know, mine aren’t wound up particularly on their first few starts, and they tend to improve significantly through the beginnings of their careers.

“I’d be confident he can run a really nice race.

“I could have run him after Ascot, and we decided not to and to freshen him up and have him absolutely spot on for the sales race – so this has been the plan ever since.”

As for the ‘other’ Charlie Fellowes, further progress appears highly likely.

Fellowes said of his alter ego: “He was very, very impressive the other day – I’m told the time was excellent, and I think Timeform gave him quite a good figure as a result.

“I think George is now going to just take his time, and train him like the good horse he looked the other day.”

A maximum field has been declared for the Newmarket feature, led by the Archie Watson-trained Mighty Gurkha.

The Sepoy youngster, who will be ridden by Hollie Doyle, was last seen winning the Group Three Sirenia Stakes at Kempton.

Mighty Gurkha (left) sets the standard at Newmarket
Mighty Gurkha (left) sets the standard at Newmarket (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Mighty Gurkha is one of two contenders for Lambourn-based Watson, alongside Ocean Star, who won her maiden by 11 lengths at Chepstow.

Tom Clover has high hopes for Fairy Dust, who is already Listed-placed this season but was down the field most recently in a Group Three at Salisbury.

Clover said: “We ran a close third last year with Gypsy Spirit for some of the same connections and we’re hoping that we can go a couple better this time around.

“Fairy Dust was disappointing at Salisbury last time but her previous form was very good, and she has been training really well recently. I’ve been very happy with her.

“It’s going to be pretty hard work out there, with all the rain forecast, but being by Gregorian I hope she’ll handle it OK. She’s drawn 30, which is nice draw for her, so hopefully she will run well.”

Aljady continues winning spree for Cowell

Aljady finished with a flourish to claim his fourth victory of the season in the feature race at Beverley.

Having lost his form for Richard Fahey towards the end of last season, the five-year-old changed hands for 42,000 guineas in October – and has been completely reinvigorated since joining Robert Cowell and being campaigned solely over sprint distances.

Since making a successful debut for his new connections at Haydock in early June, Aljady has added wins at Windsor and Sandown to his record, as well as finishing a close-up seventh in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.

Cowell’s charge was the 11-10 favourite for his latest assignment in the Eddie And Violet Smith Conditions Stakes – but it was not plain sailing for the market leader, with rapid older sprinters Caspian Prince and Ornate ensuring the pace was strong.

Aljady was under pressure to keep up racing inside the final couple of furlongs, but came home strongly in the hands of Charles Bishop to get up and beat Orvar by half a length – with Caspian Prince just over two lengths away in third.

Cowell said: “He’s a very good horse who was showing plenty of potential before we even ran him this year, so I’m not surprised he’s got to the lofty rating he has, to be honest.

“Both myself and Tom Morley loved him at the sales and were surprised to get him for the price we did.

“He keeps improving, he’s adaptable over five and six furlongs and handles fast or soft ground – he’s an owner’s dream.

“I think he deserves to go into black type company now, and we’ll probably look at the Rous Stakes at Ascot (October 3) next.”

Charlie Fellowes wins at Beverley
Charlie Fellowes wins at Beverley (Tim Goode/PA)

The George Scott-trained Charlie Fellowes finally got his head in front for the first time in the opening Beverley Annual Badgeholders Novice Auction Stakes.

Named after Scott’s friend and fellow Newmarket-based trainer, the equine Charlie Fellowes has proved frustrating to follow – filling the runner-up spot on three successive occasions before this appearance on the Westwood.

However, the 13-8 market leader broke his duck in some style – making most of the running and passing the post with seven lengths in hand under Paul Mulrennan.

Scott said: “He has been pretty consistent and he has been unfortunate to bump into various horses at various times. He was slightly mugged at Ripon by what could be a nice filly (Setantii Girl).

“We put some cheek-pieces on him, and he has put in a solid display. He is clearly improving and hopefully he will carry on.”

Fellowes trains a two-year-old named George Scott, who has failed to win in two starts to date.

Scott added: “Charlie and I are great mates, and we decided to set up a podcast (Off The Bridle Podcast) where we knocked a few ideas around – and one of them was to buy each other a horse and name it after the other person.

“We filled the syndicates up through listeners and existing owners who wanted a share for the entertainment value, while we each retained a share ourselves.

“Charlie loves to talk, so it is lovely to have the bragging rights! He is always giving me grief and he has slightly had the upper hand over the last couple of years with better quality horses, so this is a small win over him.

“At the end of the day, us trainers are all in it together – and to have a bit of camaraderie like this is a good thing. ”

Naamoos comes home clear
Naamoos comes home clear (Tim Goode/PA)

Naamoos justified cramped odds of 4-11 in the Racing To School ebfstallions.com Novice Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston and jockey Joe Fanning, before Roger Varian’s 2-7 shot Valyrian Steel and David Egan carried the same colours of owner Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa to success in the RFM Equinephotos Novice Stakes.

James Bethell’s Idoapologise (11-4) also obliged for favourite backers in the Eddie Moll Handicap under Kevin Stott.

Apprentice Faye McManoman, meanwhile, was seen to good effect aboard the Nigel Tinkler-trained Not On Your Nellie (12-1) in the Churchill Tyres Handicap.

Mick Easterby’s Casilli was a 14-1 winner of the Churchill Tyres A Great British Brand Handicap, with David Allan doing the steering, and the Brian And Jason Merrington Memorial Handicap went to Mick Appleby’s 7-2 favourite Double Reflection, under a fine ride from Josephine Gordon.

Stat of the Day, 7th July 2020

Monday's pick was...

7.15 Windsor : Talking About You @ 4/1 BOG 2nd at 4/1 (Held up in touch, headway chasing leaders 3f out, went 2nd over 2f out, led 2f out, ridden and hung badly left over 1f out, headed and no extra close home).

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

1.15 Pontefract :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Music Therapist @ 5/1 BOG

...in an 11-runner, Class 5, Flat handicap for 3yo over 5f on Good to Firm ground worth £3,493 to the winner...

Why?...

An initial glance at the expanded racecard gives us plenty to go at...

... so we've a horse who was a runner-up 8 days ago and now drops in class. He'll be ridden by a jockey, Ben Curtis, who rides this track well (23.9% SR since the start of 2018) and has done well for today's trainer (6 wins from 15 in the past 13 months), whilst our pick is just about top rated on speed figures.

To be honest, there was probably enough there to justify a bet at 5/1 when I initially put the pick up, but what the above doesn't tell you is that when a runner-up last week, Music Therapist's write-up of the result said..."raced keenly, led on rail, ridden and strongly pressed over 1f out, headed just inside final furlong, no extra." So, I'd guess the drop back in trip is also a bonus today.

In addition to the data held within the racecard, it might be of interest to know that since the start of 2018, trainer George Scott's handicappers dropping down a grade are...

...whilst since the start of the 2017 campaign, his Class 5 Flat handicappers sent off at 7/1 or shorter are...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Music Therapist @ 5/1 BOG as was available from Bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes, Sporting Bet & Unibet at 8.20am Tuesday, but as always please check your BOG statusTo see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 1.15 Pontefract

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!