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James fires out Guineas message with impressive Greenham win

James Garfield underlined his QIPCO 2000 Guineas credentials by winning the Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Pre-race, much of the focus had been on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye — also considered to be a leading Guineas contender.

However, just as he did when winning the Mill Reef Stakes last September, James Garfield — trained by George Scott at Saffron House Stables — came up trumps on the Berkshire course.

Scott said of the Exceed & Excel colt: “I am delighted with that performance.

“It is his attitude that sets him apart. He has this will to win in everything he does.

“At home, if he is picking the grass, he wants the whole paddock, or in the box, he wants the whole box.

“He is just so tough — a lot of credit goes to the team back home, because he takes plenty of managing, and to Bill and Tim (Gredley) for breeding him.

“It is just a great story for of all of us including my wife Polly — we married in September.

“It is just a dream for me and I feel very lucky.”

Meanwhile, victorious jockey Frankie Dettori has confirmed he will ride James Garfield in the 2000 Guineas at the Rowley Mile on May 5.

“James Garfield is a lovely little horse with a massive heart, who tries really hard.

“When he gallops, he gets his head down like a Jack Russell and he has got a lot of courage, handles any ground and also any sort of undulations.

“Because of the way he won, he is entitled to take his chance in the Guineas.

“I am not saying he is going to win but he deserves to be in the race. I am available and will ride him.”

Stoute’s Expert Eye came home second, while James Tate’s Hey Gaman completed the top three.

• Earlier on the same card, there was glory for Newmarket trainer Roger Varian in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes thanks to Defoe.

Varian said: “He is one to look forward to. I would be a bit cautious about summer fast ground — he is a well balanced and good moving horse.”

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