TIM GREDLEY is banking on his noisy neighbour making it a happy Newmarket homecoming.
For 20 years Gredley – joint-owner with dad Bill of Qipco 2000 Guineas hope James Garfield – lived next door to big-race jockey Frankie Dettori.
Any inconveniences that might have come from the Italian perhaps driving his Ferrari too fast or cheering on Arsenal on a quiet Sunday afternoon must surely have long-since been forgiven.
Dettori was on board when James Garfield – trained by Gredley’s brother-in-law George Scott – broke Newbury’s six-furlong track record for two-year-olds in the Mill Reef Stakes last season.
He returned to Newbury to see off Expert Eye in the Greenham and earn his place in today’s 2000 Guineas field.
Gredley said: “Frankie brings so much experience to these big races and as a friend of the family he gives you an honest answer.
“He was my next-door neighbour for 20 years. He’s just moved out – thank god.
“We’re all good friends and he’s a big part of the team.
“He was a loud neighbour. He was usually out and about riding but when he was back home he was good fun.”
There’s certainly been plenty of fun with James Garfield. He was bred at the Gredley’s stud and only ended up with Scott when he failed to raise a single bid at the yearling sales.
Now he has a chance of Newmarket glory – something that is pretty familiar to Gredley.
The former professional showjumper rode the winner of the historic Newmarket Plate – first run in 1666 – last summer.
He’s been riding in point-to-points during the jumps season having joined his dad’s real estate investment and developers firm Unex Group fulltime.
The famous yellow Gredley racing colours he’s been riding in have been a familiar sight in the winners’ enclosure for many years.
User Friendly won three Classics, Environment Friend landed the Coral-Eclipse and Big Orange added a memorable Gold Cup victory at Royal Ascot last year.
James Garfield has a chance of more Group 1 success but Scott – who married Gredley’s sister last year – knows he has a bit to prove against top-notch milers.
The 29-year-old said: “I’m very hopeful he’ll stay a mile.
“His running style gives him a good opportunity to get it and his pedigree certainly wouldn’t put you off.
“In the Greenham at Newbury he was doing his best work in the last 50 yards.
“I definitely feel he’s now battle-hardened. He’s run over a variety of trips on a variety of different ground. Many of the horses in the race won’t have as much experience as him – that has to be an advantage.
Templegate’s TV tips
1.50 Newmarket – Tricorn: ‘Goes well at this track and the ground has come right for him’ (add to your betslip)
2.05 Goodwood – What A Home: ‘Looks the type to have improved plenty over the winter’ (add to your betslip)
2.20 Newmarket – Havana Grey: ‘Sets the standard on his two-year-old form’ (add to your betslip)
2.40 Goodwood – Donncha: ‘Slipped back to a winning mark and can take advantage’ (add to your betslip)
2.55 Newmarket – Defoe: ‘Looked out of the top draw when easily winning last time’ (add to your betslip)
3.35 Newmarket – Masar: ‘Absolutely bolted up in the Craven and looks a potential star’ (add to your betslip)
“It’s incredibly exciting. It’s not phasing me at all – I’m enjoying it rather than being nervous or anxious.
“It’s a little bit surreal – it’s something I’ve always dreamt about and worked very hard to achieve.”
Scott – a former assistant to Lady Cecil – is in just his third full season since setting up on Newmarket’s Hamilton Road little more than a few furlongs from the Rowley Mile James Garfield will attempt to conquer today.
This might be a family affair but there’s no doubting the professionalism needed to realise the obvious ambition is in place.
Scott added: “We’ve enjoyed some wonderful trips as a family. All around the country – Royal Ascot, York and then America.
“It’s created some pretty special memories and we’ve got an exciting year ahead regardless of what happens on Saturday.”
James Garfield’s two-year-old half-sister is already in training with Scott. She’s been named M Antoinette.
Today the trainer and his in-laws will be hoping they can have their cake and eat it.