Leading international sire Exceed And Excel (by Danehill) is one of the best of the reverse shuttle stallions and Darley's Kildangan Stud team member has another promising prospect in James Garfield, the George Scott-trained colt who won the recent Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.
He took that six-furlong contest by three-parts of a length from Invincible Army, with Nebo another half-length back in third, and this trio finished three and half lengths clear of the fourth, which is a good sign.
This was his second win from six starts, he was still a maiden when taking third of 22 in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in June – which was won by Sound And Silence – he was not disgraced when fourth to the exciting Expert Eye in the Group 2 Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, and then failed by the narrowest of margins to beat Wells Farhh Go in the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York.
The latter two events are over seven furlongs and, although he is the son of a sprint star, that stallion has got his top winners over a range of distances and the colt comes from a distaff line that features an eye-catching mix of speed and stamina.
Homebred by owner Bill Gredley's Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs, James Garfield is the best of several winners out of Listed Chesham Stakes scorer Whazzat (by Daylami). Those include the stakes-placed miler The Shrew (by Dansili), but his siblings also include Unaided (by Dansili), an unplaced filly who has a notable daughter running in the USA this year.
That filly is the Chad Brown-trained three-year-old Uni (by More Than Ready) and she was a nine-furlong listed scorer in France before crossing the Atlantic where her three runs have showed an upward progression.
She was third to New Money Honey in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes over 10 furlongs in early July, then runner-up in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes over nine at Saratoga before, just a week before her young relation's Newbury success, she beat La Coronel by a neck in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes back at Belmont, again over nine furlongs.
Whazzat is a half-sister to the Italian Group 3 scorer Whazzis (by Desert Prince) but her dam, Wosaita (by Generous) is a daughter of Eljazzi (by Artaius) and that makes James Garfield another talented relation of a famous and stallion-producing family.
Eljazzi is the dam of the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine Rafha (by Kris) and so is the grandam of Group 1 star Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert), of his blacktype-placed half-brother Kodiac (by Danehill), and of Group 2-placed stakes winner and notable broodmare Massarra (by Danehill).
The first-named pair are important European sires and, indeed, Invincible Spirit is showing signs of having a lasting impact on the breed as a growing number of his sons and daughters are doing well at stud.
Massarra, on the other hand, is the dam of Group 1 Gran Criterium winner Nayarra (by Cape Cross), of additional juvenile blacktype scorers Cuff (by Galileo) and Wonderfully (by Galileo), and of that pair's full-brother Gustav Klimt who won the Group 2 bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, beating the aforementioned Nebo by a head.
Eljazzi is also responsible for Chiang Mai (by Sadler's Wells), the Group 2 Blandford Stakes-winning dam of Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes star Chinese White (by Dalakhani), and for Al Anood (by Danehill), the Australian-born dam of juvenile Group 1 star and young Coolmore reverse shuttle stallion Pride Of Dubai (by Street Cry).
It is no surprise that Eljazzi proved to be such a good broodmare as this daughter of Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Border Bounty (by Bounteous) was a half-sister to the Petingo-sired (by Petition) trio of Group 1-placed Group 2 Blandford Stakes winner Valley Forge, classic-placed pattern scorer and leading sire Pitcairn, and Dingle Bay, the mare who gave us the Group 1-winning stayer and successful National Hunt sire Assessor (by Niniski).
James Garfield earned a Timeform rating of 111 for his Group 2 success, which puts him some way short of the best of his age group, but he is clearly a talented colt and, with his family connections, it is possible that he can progress further and prove effective at a mile next year.