Tag Archive for: George Scott

Phantom takes Flight for Scott and Shepherd

Jockey Callum Shepherd enjoyed more Saturday success as Phantom Flight went one better than last year to claim the Get Best Odds Guaranteed At BetVictor Steventon Stakes at Newbury.

Second to William Haggas’ Al Aasy 12 months ago, the five-year-old was making his seasonal return in the Listed race, which was also his first outing since being gelded and for new trainer George Scott.

Having made the running when vanquished last year, Shepherd was happy to let 6-5 favourite Alyanaabi go forward before asking the 16-1 outsider of five to move to the lead approaching the final furlong.

Al Aasy gave chase late in the day, but there was no denying Phantom Flight as he kept on resolutely for a one-length success.

The winner sports the same red silks of Victorious Racing that Isle Of Jura carried to success at Royal Ascot and he is likely to try to follow in the footsteps of Scott’s stable star by venturing to Bahrain later in the year via the Coral Glorious Stakes at Goodwood on August 3.

Scott said: “We’ve been really pleased with him since he came to us, he arrived in great condition and we decided to geld him and his work is pleasing.

“He’s a horse who doesn’t take much training, he just has an amazing stride and a great way of going.

“It might sound crazy as the outsider of the field, but I wasn’t surprised to see him win. He’s got a lot of quality and back form, he was bought for the Bahrain International and that looks the perfect race for him down the line.

“He will try to emulate Isle Of Jura I guess, but he will run a couple of times more before going (to Bahrain).

“There’s a Group Three at Goodwood on the Saturday which is for four-year-olds and up which looks a really good spot for him and he will fit in a race like that nicely. I think he will like the track and if he comes out of this nicely, I think he will go for that.”

Temporize pulled out all the stops in the Metal UK Handicap, as Haggas and owners Shadwell had to settle for second once again with Naqeeb.

Given a fine ride by Connor Beasley, Syd Hosie’s five-year-old was always towards the fore and showed real toughness when challenged late inside the final furlong.

The 10-1 winner will now head to Goodwood to try to win the Coral Goodwood Handicap two years running before taking another shot at the Cesarewitch in the autumn.

Temporize was given a fine ride by Connor Beasley
Temporize was given a fine ride by Connor Beasley (David Davies/PA)

Hosie said: “It was great and we ran him from the front today. I was worried he might have got caught but I said to Connor ‘turn him loose three out’ and it was a cracking run from the horse.

“Connor gave him a great ride and he won the Northumberland Plate recently, so he’s clearly good at these staying races isn’t he. His timing was impeccable there on the front-end today.

“He’ll go back to the Goodwood two-mile-four race which he won last year and then we will probably got and have another crack at the Cesarewitch and ride him a bit differently.

“His shoes came off in the race last year and he has better feet this year as well, so it would be nice to have a proper crack at it this year.”

The Waco Kid (16-5) was a taking winner of the Take A Lucky Dip At BetVictor EBF Novice Stakes for Hugo Palmer and jockey Oisin Murphy, while Rossa Ryan got the chance to don the Godolphin silks and steer Charlie Appleby’s Dubai Melody (11-2) to victory in the Darley EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes.

The concluding British Stallion Studs EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap went the way of Richard Hannon’s Circe, who stuck on gamely at the end of the one-mile event in the hands of Hollie Doyle at odds of 11-2.

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Setback rules Isle Of Jura out of King George and rest of season

Isle Of Jura has picked up an injury which will rule him out of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the rest of the season.

George Scott’s impressive Hardwicke Stakes winner was being prepared for the midsummer highlight, for which he would have been a major contender.

However, Scott released a statement on Saturday morning confirming his stable star was set for a spell on the sidelines.

He said: “Unfortunately, lsle of Jura has met with a setback and will miss the remainder of 2024.

“Naturally this is disappointing news for his owners Victorious Racing and everyone at Eve Lodge.

“However, we unite in the feeling of gratitude towards him. ln little over a year, he’s shown himself to be a winning machine, including the Bahrain Triple Crown and of course the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“There’s every reason to believe he will make a full recovery and with low mileage his best days may yet be ahead of him.”

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Isle Of Jura way too hot for Hardwicke rivals

The remarkable Isle Of Jura continued his fairytale campaign with a brilliant victory in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

George Scott’s charge was rated in the low 70s last year, but is fast becoming a middle-distance operator to be reckoned with after winning five races on the spin.

Following a winter hat-trick in Bahrain, the four-year-old made a successful return to Britain in the Listed Festival Stakes at Goodwood last month – but with Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe fifth Continuous among his rivals, he was sent off at 16-1 stepping up to Group Two level.

Callum Shepherd returns aboard Isle Of Jura
Callum Shepherd returns aboard Isle Of Jura (PA)

Partnered by Callum Shepherd, who earlier this season lost the ride on Derby runner-up Ambiente Friendly, the New Approach gelding moved to the heels of the pacesetters at the top of the home straight before finding a gear his rivals simply could not match.

Such was the authority with which he won, Shepherd was able to take a look at the big screen in the closing strides before standing up in the stirrups to salute the crowd, with three and three-quarter lengths separating him and French raider Goliath at the line.

Middle Earth was third, with 13-8 favourite Continuous back in fifth on what was his first competitive appearance since the Arc in October.

Scott said: “He’s an exceptional racehorse and it was an exceptional race from start to finish. He was the right horse at the right time (in his career).

Isle Of Jura after taking down some big names in the Hardwicke
Isle Of Jura after taking down some big names in the Hardwicke (PA)

“It’s amazing. Just over a year ago he was well beaten in a Thirsk maiden. To do this for Sheikh Nasser (Victorious Racing), such a big supporter of mine, is very special.

“We are just blessed to have him, he’s repaid us time and time again and the journey from hereon in is going to be very very special.

“Most best-laid plans go to pot, but this has been a long-term plan. This was an obvious race for him. We knew Goodwood would bring him on, and it has. We knew he would get the ground, and he has. It was a scintillating performance, so we shall enjoy it.

“Callum is a top-class rider he had his horse in the right position all the way, kicked nice and early and put the race to bed. It was a perfect ride. All roads lead to the King George, 100 per cent.”

Shepherd said: “I’m really struggling to compose myself.

“He’s such a special horse for George and the team. Make no mistake, he never lets us down.

“Obviously the last six weeks have been very difficult, but that just feels very special.”

Goliath (yellow hat) got closest to Isle Of Jura
Goliath (yellow hat) got closest to Isle Of Jura (John Walton/PA)

Fresh from his winner on Friday, Francis-Henri Graffard said of Goliath: “We came here because we wanted to avoid the French style of racing, with no pace, and unfortunately today they decided to do a little bit of the same. My horse was a bit too keen through the race; he’s difficult to manage, but not too bad today.

“I walked the course and there was a good cover of grass and I thought it was safe ground for him, but he’s probably better with a bit of cut.

“He has to settle in his races to be able to stay and to produce a good turn of foot, but we are very pleased with the run – he’s a very nice horse and we beat some very nice horses, too. He’s entered in the King George, but we’ll see what the weather forecast is. I don’t know – it’s a long journey and a tough race, but why not?”

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Seven Questions supplemented for King Charles after impressing George Scott

Seven Questions has been supplemented for the King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot after delighting trainer George Scott in a Wednesday morning gallop in Newmarket.

A surprise winner of the Palace House Stakes on his seasonal debut, the gelded son of Kodiac proved that effort was no fluke when finishing third in the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock last month.

The three-year-old will face an even sterner test when he steps up to Group One level on Tuesday, but after seeing his star sprinter go through his paces on Racecourse Side, connections have decided to stump up the required £46,000 to add him to the King Charles field.

Seven Questions on the gallops in Newmarket
Seven Questions on the gallops in Newmarket (Equuis Photography)

“Seven Questions seems to be improving all the time – we could not be more happy with him,” said Scott.

“We were delighted with his work this morning – he showed himself to be in great form. He is a horse who seems to be progressing with every start. So we have decided to push the button on the supplementary entry for the King Charles.

“His form ties in quite nicely with a couple of the main players in the race, but at the same time, we’ve got to be realistic. You’re not supplementing a 6-4 shot, he’s probably going to be 14-1 or 16-1, but in an open race we feel it’s worth taking a chance.

“The big hurdle for him is to get over the preliminaries, so we’re in the process of organising a pony for him and he’ll go down (to Ascot) the night before. He’ll go and have a look at the track and the paddock on the morning of the race. Mentally, that should set him up for the afternoon.”

Isle Of Jura is being readied for the Hardwicke Stakes
Isle Of Jura is being readied for the Hardwicke Stakes (Equuis Photography)

Scott is preparing a small but select team for the Royal meeting, with Isle Of Jura and Prydwen also set for big-race assignments in the Hardwicke Stakes and Gold Cup respectively.

Following a memorable winter hat-trick in Bahrain, Isle Of Jura made a triumphant return to Britain in the Listed Festival Stakes at Goodwood last month and he too underlined his well-being with a seven-furlong spin on the Summer Gallop.

Scott added: “Isle of Jura moved very nicely in his work. We have been pleased with him since his win in the Festival Stakes – he has probably come on from that run, which he was entitled to do.

“It looks like 10 furlongs is very much his minimum trip – he wants a mile and a half now. It’s all systems go for the Hardwicke. He pleased Callum (Shepherd) and I this morning, pulling nicely clear of his lead horse and he didn’t blow a candle out afterwards.”

Prydwen faces a huge rise in class and a switch to turf in the Gold Cup after winning the Marathon on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle and a valuable handicap at Southwell on his two most recent outings.

“For two reasons we feel he has earned his start in the race. Firstly, he has run three career bests in a row. Secondly he’s rated 108 and is kind of in that awkward place where he’s going to carry huge weights in handicaps,” said Scott.

“He’s probably a few pounds below what’s required to win at Group level, but he belongs to a great group of people who have owned horses all their lives and the Gold Cup is one of the most prestigious races of them all.”

Scott’s Royal Ascot squad also includes Watch My Tracer (Buckingham Palace Handicap), Billy Webster (Palace of Holyrood House Handicap) and Rocket Rodney (Wokingham Handicap).

“These three horses have shown a high level of form, but they are a little bit in and out at times, so we’ll hope that things fall right for them in their respective race,” the trainer added.

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George Scott harbouring Hardwicke hopes for Isle Of Jura

Isle Of Jura will captain George Scott’s select team for Royal Ascot when he attempts to extend his four-race winning run in the Hardwicke Stakes.

The Victorious Racing-owned four-year-old thrived for his Bahrain-based connections in the winter, winning four of his five outings in the Persian Gulf, and proved he was still a horse on the upgrade when making a successful return to the UK at Goodwood last month.

Scott feels that Listed triumph tees his charge up nicely for a move into Pattern company at the Royal meeting, where he will also race over a mile and a half for just the second time.

“I guess our team will be headed by Isle Of Jura in the Hardwicke,” said Scott.

“He’s come forward well since winning at Goodwood and we’re very pleased with him.

“He really hasn’t done much wrong for the last eight months or so and it is clear a mile and a half and a strong pace suits him very well.

“I thought he looked rusty at Goodwood when they didn’t go very quick, but he has improved since then and he will go to the Hardwicke as a horse that has some upside.”

Prydwen could take part in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot
Prydwen could take part in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot (Richard Sellers/PA)

Scott is also poised to saddle a runner in one of the biggest races of the week, with All-Weather Championships Finals Day hero Prydwen set to be given the chance to showcase his staying ability in the Gold Cup.

“Prydwen will probably run in the Gold Cup if it stays dry, he’s been a big improver this year,” continued Scott.

“He’s currently stuck between a rock and a hard place off his current rating, so why not have a go in the Gold Cup? It’s one of the most exciting races of the season and I would be delighted if he could get involved in it.

“We’ve also got three or four for handicaps. They are horses with pieces of good form but will probably need to step forwards quite significantly to win at Royal Ascot.”

One horse who will not be on display at Ascot is Scott’s star sprinter Seven Questions, with the Palace House Stakes winner and Temple Stakes third set to participate in calmer waters before sights are potentially raised later in the season.

Scott added: “He won’t go to Ascot and I feel this year he has just got himself into a good headspace and doesn’t need to run at Ascot this time around.

“He will go to Sandown for the three-year-old Listed sprint on June 15 (Scurry Stakes) and then we will decide if he has a crack at something like the July Cup or Nunthorpe.

“He will certainly be running in Group One sprints by the end of the year and I guess anything he does this year will be a positive as three-year-old sprinters often find it difficult. I think he will improve physically for another year.”

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Isle Of Jura books Hardwicke ticket with Goodwood strike

An appearance at Royal Ascot is next on the agenda for Isle Of Jura after the Bahrain Triple Crown winner made a triumphant return to Britain in the William Hill Festival Stakes at Goodwood.

The four-year-old enjoyed a hugely productive winter in the Middle East for trainer George Scott and jockey Callum Shepherd, winning four of his five starts overall, including a hat-trick of big-race wins since the turn of the year.

Making his first appearance since his most recent Bahrain triumph in early March, Isle Of Jura was a 6-1 shot to record a first victory at Listed level on home soil and after being held up off a steady pace, powered home from the rear to get the better of the blinkered Mujtaba by half a length.

“He gave everyone connected with him the winter of a lifetime and for him to kind of validate his form here is very special for us,” said Scott.

“He was giving a penalty away to the second horse, who is rated the same as him (112), albeit that horse is out of form.

“It was a very messy race, Isle Of Jura is a horse who loves to close off a strong pace and he didn’t get any of that today. He really had to dig in with grit and show a proper will to win.

“Callum had so much confidence in him, he didn’t panic, he had him in the right position and he got the job done.”

Isle of Jura and Callum Shepherd after winning at Goodwood
Isle of Jura and Callum Shepherd after winning at Goodwood (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Scott, who had originally planned on running his stable star in Thursday’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes before rain-softened ground at Sandown prompted a change of plan, believes there will be even more to come from his charge when he tackles a faster surface in the Hardwicke Stakes next month.

“He’ll certainly go to the Hardwicke now, back to a mile and a half on what will hopefully be fast ground and a fast pace – it should be absolutely perfect for him, really,” the trainer added.

“He’s come back from Bahrain, had a break and he was a bit fresh and a bit fizzy today in the preliminaries, so I expect that he’ll come on for the run.

“I’d be really confident that you’ll see an improved performer next time.”

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Bahrain revelation Isle Of Jura back in domestic action

Isle Of Jura will get the chance to follow up his lucrative spell in Bahrain when he runs in the William Hill Festival Stakes at Goodwood on Friday.

The progressive George Scott-trained four-year-old ran five times in the Middle East at the turn of the year, winning four and finishing second in his only defeat.

Two of his wins were at local Listed level, but to gauge his form on the most recent of them in fourth was Charlie Appleby’s King Of Conquest, who was only beaten a nose by Middle Earth in the Aston Park at Newbury last weekend.

Isle Of Jura was declared for the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown on Thursday, but heavy rain has seen Scott switch to Sussex.

“Given his owners are from Bahrain, to win the Triple Crown out there was important and he was an absolute star for us,” said Scott.

“I thought the last race was a particularly good effort, as it was his fifth run and it was clear that he was coming to the end of his tether out there. He was stepping up to a mile and a half, but he dug in deep and showed a great attitude to win comfortably, so I was proud of that.

“He has it all to prove again back in England, we had him in at Sandown but the ground was so much better at Goodwood – for a change, as Goodwood are owed a bit of relief!

“When he was out in Bahrain you could see him thrive. He’s a giant of a horse, over 17 hands, he did really well in the sun and loved the routine out there, but he’s carried it back to Newmarket, he looks superb and we’re really looking forward to getting him started.

“It will be fascinating to see how his form translates. What he has got in his corner is he is very well bred, he’s not outperforming his pedigree at all – he’s bred to be very good. He’s from a late-maturing Godolphin family, so we’re hoping he’s competitive in stakes races back in England.”

Passion And Glory, behind Isle Of Jura twice in Bahrain, Mujtaba and Claymore are among his rivals.

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Seven Questions has all the answers in Palace House

Seven Questions was a surprise winner of the William Hill Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.

The three-year-old was partnered by Callum Shepherd and started as the outsider of the field at 33-1 for trainer George Scott.

He was always near the front end of the race, which turned into a real battle in the closing stages as a clutch of runners were in with a shout.

However, Seven Questions picked up the lead in the final strides to see off runner-up Vadream by a head, with a further short head back to the third-placed Beautiful Diamond.

Scott said: “It’s a big team effort with this horse as he’s as quirky as they come. He spent the night at the racecourse last night because when he gets on the box he gets very stirred up, so he had an away night about half a mile away from his stable!

“They saddled him an hour ago and he’s trying to kick everyone, but he’s a talented horse on his day and he got a brilliant ride. He’s a very good rider Callum, he’s able to do things on horses that you can’t teach.

“I went to watch City Of Troy warming up rather than watch him! He’s given us some of our scariest moments on the racecourse, but often those horses are the most talented.”

Seven Questions was campaigned without success in Dubai in the early part of the year, with his best effort coming when third in January.

Scott will now look to Royal Ascot with his charge, although his target at that fixture could now need further consideration.

The trainer added: “We’ll have to re-evaluate now, won’t we? It was very much a question of whether he was going to go to the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes or whether he’s a King’s Stand or Diamond Jubilee horse, so we’ll see.

“It’s special having a winner on 2000 Guineas day, I’m a Newmarket boy and this is our flagship meeting.”

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Prydwen tees up Northumberland Plate tilt with Southwell strike

The Northumberland Plate is likely to be next on the agenda for Prydwen after he continued his lucrative all-weather campaign in the Liz And Izzy’s Hoap Podcast Handicap at Southwell.

An impressive winner on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle a month ago, the six-year-old was a 3-1 joint-favourite for the £75,000 feature on this Premier Raceday fixture in Nottinghamshire.

Carrying top-weight of 9st 12lb, Prydwen sat in the slipstream of the pacesetting Pledgeofallegiance for much of the two-mile contest and was the only horse still on the bridle rounding the final bend.

Callum Shepherd angled his mount towards the stands’ rail once straightening up for home and George Scott’s charge was well on top as he passed the post a length and a half clear of Onesmoothoperator.

Scott said: “I know it sounds crazy at the age of six, but we seem to have unlocked the way to ride him by default at Newcastle. He’s quite a nervous horse and he’s run his worst races when he’s been claustrophobic, so the plan today was always to get up on the pace and sit on the outside.

“I thought Callum gave him a really sensible ride and it was a very good performance from the horse, carrying that weight and giving 13lb to the second.

“I think he’ll probably go for the Northumberland Plate. He’ll probably have plenty of weight, but he can clearly give weight away on that surface and the Plate is over a course and distance he’s won over, so it’s an absolute no-brainer.

“If he was to win the Northumberland Plate, we might look at the Goodwood Cup, but we’ll see.”

Derby entrant Sardinian Warrior was an emphatic winner of the Boost Your Football Acca At Planet Sport Bet Novice Stakes.

A promising second on his Kempton introduction in December, the son of Saxon Warrior was the 7-4 favourite for his reappearance and was not hard pressed to scoot four and a half lengths clear under hand driving from Kieran Shoemark, with newcomer T’Challa one to note in second.

“He kind of did everything I expected of him,” Shoemark told Sky Sports Racing.

“We ended up in front a long way from home and I think there was a combination of him being green, which he’s entitled to be, and possibly getting tired as well – he’s having a nice blow.

“We always knew he was going to come on for today, so it was very encouraging.”

On whether Sardinian Warrior could take up his engagement in the Dante Stakes at York on May 16, the jockey added: “I’m really not sure, obviously we’ll see how he comes out of today and that’s not a decision I’ll be making, but I really liked what I felt from him today and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come.”

Blue Day justified short-priced favouritism for the in-form Harry Charlton with victory in the Download The Planet Sport Bet App Handicap.

Not seen since picking up the silver medal on his third career start at Kempton in October, the three-year-old was a 6-5 shot for his handicap debut and got the job done readily under Oisin Murphy.

“Harry Charlton took out the licence in his own right at the start of this year and is doing really well. He said this horse had trained well and it was probably a good spot for him, so it was nice to get it all together,” said Murphy.

“It was a little bit messy, stop-start sort of race, but I was able to get to the fence and it was straightforward. He’s a powerful type and hopefully he’ll go through the grades.”

Murphy made it a quickfire double when Tom Clover’s 5-2 favourite Al Barez got the better of a late battle with Billyjoh in the Read Harry Cobden’s Blog At Planet Sport Bet Handicap over six furlongs.

Charlie Johnston and Joe Fanning teamed up to win the first two races on the card, with Baileys Khelstar (16-5) dominating his rivals in the Race By Race Southwell Specials @planetsportbet Handicap before Francophone (11-1) impressed in the Best Odds Guaranteed At Planet Sport Bet Fillies’ Handicap.

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Tudhope proves super-sub as Prydwen sails clear in Marathon

Benoit de la Sayette’s loss was Danny Tudhope’s gain as Prydwen ran out an easy winner of the BetUK All-Weather Championships Marathon Handicap.

With former champion apprentice De La Sayette stuck in traffic on his way north, George Scott turned to Tudhope for the six-year-old and few ride Gosforth Park better than the Scotsman.

Sent off a 10-1 chance, Tudhope settled just on the quarters of the pace-making Palace Boy, before he made his move shortly after turning into the straight.

Tudhope headed to the rail and soon accounted for Palace Boy and while the hat-trick seeking Spartan Army and Vaguely Royal looked in prime position to attack, they could not get near the winner.

The race was over a furlong out as long as Prydwen saw out the trip and he ran right through the line. Duke Of Oxford made late gains to claim second, beaten three and a half lengths, with Spartan Army in third.

Prydwen always had matters under control
Prydwen always had matters under control (Richard Sellers/PA)

Tudhope said: “He gave me a lovely ride, I had a nice position early, he was happy where he was and he controlled the pace.

“I was always confident, I was always going well. I don’t know much about his form, it was a late call-up. George said the track might not play to his strengths, but he travelled sweetly and did it the hard way.”

Scott, who was at Lingfield, said: “It wasn’t poor Benoit’s fault at all, there was a crash right in front of him and he couldn’t help it, but we were delighted when Danny was available and took the ride.

“He’s an outstanding jockey and his decision at the start of the race to make up ground easily played a huge part in the way he was able to dictate the race.

“It was a really good performance. He’s been a light-framed horse, so we’ve given him a bit of time and he’s filled into his frame. He’s a bit older and wiser and that performance opens a few doors, I think he deserves a go at Royal Ascot in something like the Copper Horse Handicap.”

He went on: “A huge amount of credit has to go to ARC (Arena Racing Company) for today. They’ve put on two very good meetings, there are big crowds at both meetings, excellent prize-money and very competitive fields.”

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Newmarket target for Watch My Tracer

George Scott is readying Watch My Tracer for a valuable sales race at Newmarket after soft ground scuppered an intended outing at Goodwood last week.

The Dandy Man gelding was a winner on debut at Yarmouth in May and ran a creditable race to finish just under five lengths behind the unbeaten River Tiber when seventh in the Coventry at Royal Ascot.

He got back on the winning trail with a three-length success at Windsor last month and Scott had been targeting the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood before conditions went against him.

Watch My Tracer holds an entry in the Gimcrack Stakes at York on August 25, but is more likely to head to the July Course the following afternoon for the Tattersalls Somerville Auction Stakes, a six-furlong contest worth £100,000 to the winner.

“We took him out of Goodwood on account of the ground. I think he’d have been OK with some rain, but it was almost specialist conditions,” Scott said.

“He’s a gelding so we’ll go to the Tattersalls sales race, which is two weeks on Saturday, and he can hopefully go on to the Mill Reef after that.

“He’s a nice horse, he keeps improving at home as well.

“Ascot came too soon for him really and we feel the best is yet to come.”

The trainer added: “He’s quite an exciting horse and I think the sales race will be a very sensible step for him as the Gimcrack is going to be particularly hot.

“With such good money on offer in that sales race, it’s going to be a good stepping stone back into stakes company.”

The grey has both a long stride and a good turn of foot, meaning his limitations with regards to trip are not immediately obvious from his efforts so far.

“It’s hard to know with regards to his trip. He’s not just visually long-striding, he’s clocking a big stride length relative to other horses,” Scott went on.

“If you gave me an option I’d rather an easy six furlongs than a stiff six because he’s got plenty of pace, hence why I was always wanting to go to Goodwood with him.”

Piz Nair could head to York for his next run
Piz Nair could head to York for his next run (Tim Goode/PA)

Scott believes he has another promising juvenile on his hands in Piz Nair, a Bated Breath colt who won the second division of the same Windsor novice that Watch My Tracer landed in mid-July.

A move into Group-race company is now on the agenda, with the Acomb Stakes at York identified as a suitable target.

“I’m pleased with how he’s working in the morning, I’m really considering the Acomb for him,” said Scott.

“He’s doing very well physically and he’s got a lovely pedigree – he’s out of a winning Galileo mare and he should just keep improving.

“If he sticks his hand up in the next couple of weeks we’ll go for the Acomb, but if there’s any sign that he’s not ready for that then we’ll run in another novice and look to step into that company further down the line.”

The Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September was mentioned as a long-term objective after Piz Nair’s Windsor win and that Group Two contest remains on Scott’s radar.

“He’s got a bit of racing to do before we make a plan on that but I think he’s a nice horse,” he said.

“It would be lovely to think we could put him away for the winter and dream of some nice races next year. I don’t want to get carried away but I do quite like him.”

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Rocket Rodney shoots for glory in Westow Stakes

There could be plenty of pace on show in York’s British EBF 40th Anniversary Westow Stakes where Rocket Rodney attempts to return to winning ways on reappearance.

Trained by George Scott, the speedy son of Dandy Man was an ultra-consistent performer last term, with the only blot on his copybook coming in his final outing of the year when making a raiding mission to France.

A Listed winner in the Dragon Stakes at Sandown last season, he also placed in a whole host of high-class five-furlong events, including when beaten a neck by Little Big Bear in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot and runner-up in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.

Scott reports his charge to have strengthened up from two to three and is eager to see if he retains all the sprinting attributes which made him so successful as a juvenile.

“He was a very capable two-year-old throughout last year and his final run didn’t reflect his season in any way, so we have got to put a line through that,” he said.

“I’ve been pleased with his work in the spring. He’s done very well physically from two to three, he hasn’t grown a huge amount but he’s definitely matured.

“I think there’s always a question mark over precocious two-year-olds that have had a relatively busy season as to how they train on, and you don’t know until they get to the track. But he’s ready to get started and I have a plan for him this season, and this is very much day one.

“It’s a track he has run well at and it looks a very sensible starting point for him. I would expect him to come on for the run, but he’s more than ready to do himself justice.”

David Loughnane’s Walbank was a place behind Rocket Rodney in third when the pair locked horns in the Molecomb last July, with the talented son of Kodiac finishing no worse than third in four outings during 2022 – a CV which also includes a silver medal in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

His Goodwood outing was the final time he was sighted at two and the Amo Racing-owned colt returns following 295 days off the track at the scene of arguably his finest hour, on the course and distance over which he shed his maiden tag in fine style.

“He was a very good two-year-old,” said Loughnane. “He had a slight setback which took a bit of time and we’ve given him every chance. He’s come back a bigger horse and I’m pleased with him.

“He’s in good order and wears a tongue-tie first time, and obviously he’s going back to where he won his maiden and hopefully we get a similar result.

“He was just outside the time of the last five Nunthorpe winners – he was very impressive that day and the track definitely suits him. He’s a nice horse and one to look forward to.”

Kevin Ryan’s Silent Words went down by a head to the well-regarded Tajalla at Musselburgh earlier this month and is one of two for owners Clipper Logistics, alongside Karl Burke’s Pillow Talk, who won the Marygate Stakes over track and trip at this meeting 12 months ago.

Burke trained the one-two in this last year and is also represented by Looking For Lynda, with Richard Fahey’s hat-trick-seeking Great State and Declan Carroll’s unbeaten Changeofmind adding to the Yorkshire-trained challenge.

Pillow Talk winning the Marygate Stakes on the Knavesmire in 2022
Pillow Talk winning the Marygate Stakes on the Knavesmire in 2022 (Tim Goode/PA)

Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien will bid to land a blow for Ireland with Hispanic. The son of No Nay Never won only one of his four starts last term, but showed plenty of class when doing so, romping to an eight-length victory at the Curragh.

“I haven’t sat on him in a race, but he stepped up well when fitted with blinkers at the back-end, winning by a wide margin at the Curragh and running OK in Listed company at Doncaster,” jockey Ryan Moore told Betfair.

“Hopefully he can progress this season and be suited by the better ground he will encounter here. He likes to get on with it and he can go a bit judged on his Curragh win.”

Rogue Spirit (Tom Clover), Katey Kontent (Clive Cox) and Michaela’s Boy (Mick Appleby) are the others engaged in the five-furlong contest.

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