Alex Scott (racehorse trainer)
8 February 1960|
|Died||30 September 1994|
|Major racing wins|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint|
|Sheikh Albadou, Lammtarra.|
Alexander Archibald Scott (8 February 1960 – 30 September 1994) was a British thoroughbred racehorse trainer. In six seasons as a licence-holder Scott trained 164 winners. His most notable horses were the future Epsom Derby winner Lammtarra and the 1991 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Sheikh Albadou. In 1994 Scott was shot and killed by a groom at Glebe Farm Stud near Newmarket; he was 34.
Family background, education and early life
Alex Scott was the third son of Sir James Scott, 2nd Baronet of Rotherfield Park, former Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, and commanding officer of the Household Cavalry's mounted regiment. His parents bred and raced horses and staged an annual horse-trials event on the family's estate.
Scott was educated at Eton and Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied theology before switching to land economy. In 1981 he began working as assistant trainer to Peter Calver, moving to Harry Thomson Jones at Newmarket a year later and then, in 1985, joining Dick Hern at West Ilsley in Berkshire.
Career as a trainer
In June 1988 Scott was offered the position of trainer at Sheikh Maktoum Al-Maktoum's Oak Stables in Newmarket. The previous trainer, Olivier Douieb, was had to return to France because of ill-health. Scott had been intending to set up on his own that year, buying Fitzroy House stables in Newmarket for that purpose. Sheikh Maktoum offered him the freedom to work for other owners and the chance to train a number of high-class horses, including Cadeaux Genereux, who finished first in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp but was disqualified after a stewards' inquiry.
Scott quickly established a reputation as one of the leading young Flat trainers in Britain. In his first season, 1989, Cadeaux Genereux won two Group One sprints, the July Cup at Newmarket and the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. Two years later Scott won the Breeders' Cup Sprint on the dirt track at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, with Sheikh Albadou. Victory in that race made Sheikh Albadou one of only two British-trained winners in the history of the Breeders' Cup and the only British winner on a dirt track. Scott had trained his horse on a sand-and-fiber surface for the previous five months to prepare for the race.
1991 was also the year in which Scott won his first Classic race with Possessive Dancer's victory in the Irish Oaks at The Curragh. The following season Sheikh Albadou returned to win the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Haydock Sprint Cup, giving him career winnings of $1.23 million, while there was also success for Fraam in the Golden Mile at Goodwood.
In June 1995 Lammtarra won The Derby in a then record time. The impeccably bred Lammtarra, by Nijinsky, a Derby winner himself, and out of an Oaks winner, Snow Bride, had been trained for his only run as a two-year-old by Scott, who had been killed in the season preceding the Derby victory. Scott had selected Lammtarra as a yearling from among those at Sheikh Maktoum's Gainsborough Farm, Kentucky, unusually being given a first pick ahead of fellow trainers Sir Michael Stoute and Criquette Head.
Scott had placed a £1000 bet on Lammtarra to win the Derby with Ladbrokes at 33–1. When the colt came home in front at Epsom after the trainer's death, the bookmakers paid out to Scott's widow. Trained by Godolphin's trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, Lammtarra went on to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
Glebe Farm stud
In December 1992 Scott bought Glebe House and its stud farm at Cheveley, Newmarket. Scott's wife, Julia, continued to run the stud successfully after the death of her husband, basing the operation around a small number of mares, including Corndavon, whom Scott had bred in partnership with Craig Bandoroff; Palace Street, dam of Sakhee's Secret; and Ferber's Follies, a daughter of Saratoga Six.
On 30 September 1994 Scott was shot in the chest and killed by a stud groom, William O'Brien, using a single barrel shotgun. O'Brien and Scott had become involved in a dispute that culminated with O'Brien telling the trainer that he could "stuff his job". O'Brien had reportedly disagreed with Scott's working methods since his takeover of the farm in 1992. The following day Scott sent O'Brien a letter asking for confirmation of his resignation. There was then a confrontation in a barn at Glebe Stud Farm in which Scott was killed. The jury in the case rejected the defence's assertion that O'Brien was guilty of manslaughter, rather than murder.
The Alex Scott Memorial Fund Assistant Trainers' Scholarship was established in 1996 to provide assistant trainers with the chance to spend a month gaining experience of working outside Britain.
Scott married Julia Mary Mackenzie in 1986. They had two sons and one daughter.
- Jebb, Louis. "Obituary: Alex Scott", The Independent, 3 October 1994. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "'Resentful groom shot trainer after resigning'", The Independent, 20 July 1995. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Scott of Rotherfield Park, Alton, Hants.,Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (2008). Link to entry on Credo Reference (requires login). Retrieved 28 February 2009.
- "Scott, Sir James (Walter)", Who Was Who, London: A & C Black (1920–2008); online edition Oxford: Oxford University Press (December 2007). Link to online reference (requires login). Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Hadert, David. "Obituary: Alex Scott", The Guardian, 3 October 1994. Link to the article on InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (requires login). Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Christine, Bill. "Life in Racing Cut Short: Death of European Trainer Hits Those Close to Home",The Los Angeles Times, 2 November 1994. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Death of Breeders' Cup hero Albadou",The Racing Post, 7 May 1999. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Beyer, Andrew. "Another Sign of U.S. Decline",The Washington Post, 10 November 1991. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Ashforth, David. "Stunning win with a tragic sub-plot", The Racing Post, 4 June 2010. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Milham, Simon."Whatever happened to... Lammtarra?", The Daily Mail, 16 January 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Persad, Rishi. "Lammtarra win meant so much for so many reasons", The Racing Post, 2 June 2008. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Macdonald, Hugh. "Frankel is coming up strong in race to be the best but, for Robin Oakley, Arkle is ahead by a nose", The Herald, 19 October 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Oliver, Ken. "Lammtarra off to stud not Breeders' Cup", The Guardian, 11 October 1995. Link to the article on InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (requires login). Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Scott's legacy a powerful one as Glebe Stud continues to thrive", The Racing Post, 26 July 2007. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Trainer's murderer is jailed for life", The Independent, 29 July 1995. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Moyes, Jojo. "Resentment simmers beneath turf", The Independent, 29 July 1995. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Mullin, John. "Life for groom who killed racing trainer", The Guardian, 29 July 1995. Link to the article on InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (requires login). Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Scholarship chance", The Racing Post, 1 October 1998. Link to the article on InfoTrac National Newspapers Database (requires login). Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Brown awarded prestigious scholarship", The Racing Post, 25 October 2010. Link to the article on The Free Library. Retrieved 2 November 2012.