‘I was failing’ | Scott positive there is more to come from his team

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‘I was failing’ | Scott positive there is more to come from his team

As George Scott closes in on 200 British winners, he looks to the future on how he wants to continue progressing in his training career as he is a long way off his dreams

George Scott is rapidly approaching 200 British winners, his tenth year training and has been given a refreshed outlook on his career.

He explains in disbelief about how lucky he was in his first couple of seasons, with getting the going conditions he needed and all photo finishes going his way and the harsh reality when this abruptly came to an end.

Scott said: “When you’re losing constantly it’s really hard. There was a period where I thought – I don’t know if we can survive this. We were down to 30 horses and other trainers stars were ascending around me. Other guys were coming through and they were bunny hopping me, it’s brutal – I was failing.”

At the same time as these horses dropping off, he was going through a divorce from his wife Polly and ill-health of those he cared about, there was a momentous impact on him.

“The divorce coincided with a downturn in results here. I was certainly here in body, but in mind probably not so much – especially in hindsight.

“There were a couple of things having a really profound effect on me as well. When training racehorses you spend so much time thinking and because there are so many day-to-day decisions to be made, if you’re worried about external factors you’re picking the first decision that comes into your head, rather than thinking if it’s the right one.”

A big contributing factor to this turn around for him was his children. Scott and his ex-wife remain on good terms to co-parent, this enables him to be an active part in their lives. His young children are a big motivation for him.

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“They come to the yard a lot and absolutely love it, it’s very special having young children and despite the circumstances I’m able to be a part of every bit of their lives.

“I want my children to be proud of me and enjoy this life – a successful life in racing, not just scraping along and surviving.

“I want them to see we’re doing really well and that might not interest them and that’s absolutely fine, but it gives me the motivation at the very least to want to do it. I couldn’t face being a loser, it was eating me up big time.”

Prydwen (left) en route to success at Newcastle

Image: Prydwen (left) en route to success at Newcastle

As soon as he left school Scott went straight into racing, he fell on his feet working for Paul Nicholls. Scott describes the experience with awe and slight disbelief that he landed a job at the top of the National Hunt game. It is clear to see the profound impact that these early days at Nicholls had.

Another significant individual in his life was Sir Henry Cecil, Scott in his words never had the fortune of working for the top trainer, but he reminisces about meeting the infamous figure and approaching him for a job after meeting him by chance on the heath.

In his own words, he believed that was his chance and asked for a job. However, this was met with a rebuttal as Sir Henry Cecil wasn’t taking on any new assistants.

“I thought this is my moment, I’ve got to talk to him. He lit a cigarette and sat on the floor, so I knew at that point I at least had three or four minutes.”

Despite this job rejection, Sir Henry went on to ask Scott what he would do with Frankel. “He said they want me to take him to America but I don’t want to, I don’t think he will handle it.

“I replied it’s very hard for me to comment but what you have done so far is obviously working.”

As Scott believed his chance at working in Warren Place was gone so he pursued other avenues internationally. He was in Belmont, he can vividly remember where he was when he found out about the sad news of Sir Henry’s passing.

“I can remember thinking how sad for everyone. A few weeks passed and I was loving my time in America and my phone rang randomly; it was Dave Loder, he said Jane Cecil is looking for an assistant trainer.”

This opened up a new chapter for Scott. Now under his own name he now wants to progress, “We have a bright future. We haven’t even got onto the ladder for where I’d really like to be.

“This is just the start. We’ve just got to keep climbing the ladder. I think now with the calibre of horse we have, we need to be winning some prizemoney as well and have a good healthy strike rate, I think that will lead to progression.”

Watch George Scott: Progression in full here.

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