Author: Duane Fonseca
Perhaps call it a case of being first time lucky but George Scott appears to know what he’s doing. Scott is among a string of new faces to hit the training scene in the UK, and the former assistant to Lady Cecil at the legendary Warren Place believes he is ready to take a good aim at Dubai after winning the 1400m turf handicap with Another Batt on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan. “This is a real buzz,” Scott told Al Adiyat after Another Batt won under Connor Beasley by a length from fancied Godolphin runner Top Score, trained by Saeed bin Suroor. “Since I’ve started training I’ve always wanted to come to Dubai and I have a few owners who live here so it’s always been on the agenda but to have a winner here is a dream come true and I’m in shock.”
Despite wanting to saddle carnival runners for years, Scott admitted he was merely hoping to get a feel of what racing was like at the Emirates’ flagship racecourse. Winning was an absolute surprise because Another Batt is his only runner in Dubai this year. “He did surprise me,” said Scott, who trains from Saffron House Stables in Newmarket. “I just brought out one horse. So just one arrow and it’s hit bulls eye. How good is that? His rating was suggesting he should come here. He’s a tough horse and he goes on any ground. He is a real fun horse to train and sometimes it’s hard to place horses like this in England especially for the prize money. There’s fantastic prize money here and we are well looked after so it’s an obvious fit for the horse.
“I was delighted with the result because there’s a lot of hard work that goes into keeping them in shape back home and Tom who has come here with the horse has done well with him. I’m lucky to be well supported by those guys but it’s just delightful to get a result like this and I was in a bit of a shock I must say.” Scott had no real plan for the 4yo gelded son of Windsor Knot heading to Dubai, but with him up in the ratings by four points after the win, the 1400m Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort at Meydan this Thursday is bound to be his next target. The race was won last year by the Charlie Appleby-trained Jungle Cat, who went on to win the 1200m Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.
“He was rated 104 and we’ll have to change our programme now so he will run in the Al Fahidi Fort on 24 January, which is over the same distance,” Scott said of Another Batt, in whom English Premier League side Southampton’s striker Charlie Austin owns a stake via the Excel Racing syndicate. “He’s our first runner at the carnival, so it’s fantastic to strike at a place like this at the first time of asking. We haven’t had a horse suitable for the carnival until this point. When I thought he was a good fit and obviously it worked out. “He always had a wonderful stride but was very weak with it. Now that he has put on some muscle and strength into his frame we are seeing the results. “He’s a very talented horse who has had a few issues in the past but he’s travelled well and seems to be fit.
Connor actually took him back a bit at an important stage because he was probably going too quick and he’s come out of that speed duel which gave him a bit of space to get into a rhythm in the later part of the race.” Having seen him run well fresh, Scott thinks Another Batt, whose first success outside the UK was winning the Group 3 International Trakya Trophy in Turkey in 2017, has the potential to be a successful globetrotter. Racing in Australia could be an option, but Scott will first wait and see how he ends his Dubai campaign. “We will get the race in Dubai out of the way and then make some plans,” Scott added. “Australia could be on the cards. The Al Fahidi Fort is going to be a bit of a crossroads for him and will answer a few questions. “
He has a wonderful attitude to travelling and he seems to enjoy it. He is inquisitive when he goes abroad, embraces the challenges and he can run anything from six furlongs to a mile, maybe even a mile one. That gives us a lot of international options.”