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 Eve Lodge 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 Eve Lodge 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.
Speak to George and the energy within him and love of his job are instantly apparent. He lives and breathes his horses. It is an infectious passion and rubs off on those around him.
It means that every horse under his care gets the same level of attention in the desire to produce winners. To George and his team, every winner is to be celebrated. It’s the best feeling – that unique thrill provided by all the team’s efforts coming together in a fulfilling moment on the racecourse.
For those with a direct interest in a horse – whether they’re an owner, work-rider or stable groom – it’s a feeling to be cherished. That’s why George and his team work so hard every day – because they know the reward is something special.
High standards within George Scott Racing are expected – and set – by the boss himself. But the work-rate is accompanied by the requirement for there also to be fun in an equal measure. For racing is a unique sport in which humour and a sense of freedom combine with dedication and single-minded ambition. It’s why having direct involvement in a racing stable is so special.
BILLY JACKSON -STOPS
Billy Jackson-Stops started JS Bloodstock Consultancy in 2018, having spent a decade working in the Thoroughbred industry. Coming from an equestrian background of hunting and point-to-pointing, horses have always been at the centre of Billy’s life.
His first experience of the Thoroughbred industry came at Tattersalls where he assisted James Delahooke, a renowned bloodstock agent.
Billy then started at the Oppenheimers’ Hascombe and Valiant Stud, breeders of Cracksman and Golden Horn, where he prepared yearlings for the sales. This gave him a great insight into breeding at the top end of the market as well as an unparalleled knowledge of yearlings. From Hascombe and Valiant he moved into the racing side of the industry, becoming assistant trainer to Olly and Hetta Stevens. Their numerous successes during his time there included Group 2 Flying Childers’ winner Green Door and Royal Ascot winner Extortionist.
After two years with Olly and Hetta, Billy took the opportunity to work at a bigger yard, becoming assistant trainer to multiple Group 1 winning trainer Ralph Beckett. Oaks heroines Talent and Secret Gesture were in training at the time as well as the now popular stallion Lightning Spear.. Having learnt the skills of buying and training sharp two-year-olds with the Stevens, Billy experienced a different side to the racing game with the classier bred and stouter pedigrees that comprised the core of Ralph’s yard.
Billy’s next move – after two years with Ralph – was to Australia where John Ferguson, then Racing Manager of Godolphin, offered him the job of assistant trainer to John O’Shea. He worked closely with John to manage the training of 400 horses across three states, including Group 1 winners Hartnell, Alizee and Astern to name but a few.
Returning to the UK in 2017, Billy started to put his knowledge and experience into practice and bought a mare called Apamurra. As a sister to the dam of Australian Group 1 winners Astern and Alizee, Apamurra was sent to Australia to be sold at Magic Millions where she realised AU$300,000. This gave the financial backing to start up JS Bloodstock which, although still in its infancy, is flourishing. JS Bloodstock has bought a number of quality horses ranging from foals to horses-in-training to stallions. In his first year buying yearlings in 2018 he bought horses for multiple Group 1 winning trainers David Simcock and Michael Bell, as well as purchasing Listed winner Shadn.
Syndicate Manager Mike Lilley has been Owner and part time breeder since the mid seventies with over 50 winners to his name including 10 in 2018. Mike has worked in the City of London for fifty years and has been responsible for Syndicates and Racing Clubs during that time