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Newmarket trainer James Ferguson lands first Group 1 victory courtesy of El Bodegon



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Some trainers have to wait years for a Group 1 victory. Others – while perhaps enjoying plenty of other success – may never have a horse capable of winning at the highest level.

But for Newmarket-based James Ferguson, his Group 1 duck has taken less than two years to break.

Ferguson has been working out of Saville House Stables in the town’s St Mary’s Square since the start of 2020, having been granted his licence the previous August.

El Bodegon provided James Ferguson's first Group 1 victory last weekend. Picture: Mark Westley
El Bodegon provided James Ferguson's first Group 1 victory last weekend. Picture: Mark Westley

Eye-catching success duly followed as Zoetic’s Listed victory at Newbury was followed by Group 3 wins for Mise En Scene and El Bodegon.

And it is the latter that delivered the big one on Saturday, with El Bodegon making all to come out on top in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in Paris.

“It has probably still not fully sunk in yet,” said Ferguson, who has previously worked under the likes of Charlie Appleby, Brian Meehan and Jessica Harrington.

“It’s a real credit to everyone that works in the yard and I think we all went to work on Monday with a major spring in our step.

The trainer was granted his licence in August 2019. Picture: Mark Westley
The trainer was granted his licence in August 2019. Picture: Mark Westley

“It’s amazing to have a horse capable of being competitive in a race like that, let alone go on to win it. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the horse and such a trusted team at home.

“There has been a lot of hard work go into this from a lot of people. It’s tough to explain exactly how much it all means but I’m obviously very happy with the result.”

The talk in aftermath of the two-year-old’s victory switched to next year, and whether a tilt at one of the Classics could be on the cards.

Having had a little bit of time to reflect on the possibility, Ferguson admitted it was something that would have to be considered.

Mise En Scene will be travelling to the Breeders' Cup. Picture: Mark Westley
Mise En Scene will be travelling to the Breeders' Cup. Picture: Mark Westley

“It’s still all very exciting and there are a lot of conversations to be had,” he added. “It’s too early to say anything for certain, but he is a Group 1-winning horse now.

“With these horses you tend to work backwards from the big one and if there is a chance to run in The Derby, you have to look at it.”

Ferguson is hoping that there could be further top level glory to celebrate in the not too distant future, with Mise En Scene bound for the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar over the weekend of November 5.

She will go in the Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, and Ferguson said: “It’s lovely to have a horse to send out there.

“I’m sure she’ll give a very good account of herself – hopefully we can get her over there in good shape.”

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