This Saturday Hawkesbury trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith will head up to Queensland with his always honest galloper Famous Seamus for a shot at a Group win in the 2013 George Moore Stakes.
Run at Doomben Racecourse, this year’s $200,000 Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) drew 24 nominations including the in-form Elusive City gelding Famous Seamus.
Winner of the Listed Lightning Handicap (1100m) at Randwick two back when successfully defending their title in the sprint, the five-year-old sprinter was last seen racing at Caulfield on November 16.
There they ran a brave third to Lankan Rupee in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan (1200m), an effort Mayfield-Smith is hoping they can improve on when they race in their third state in as many starts this weekend.
“He didn’t handle the track at all so it was a great run,” Mayfield-Smith told AAP when speaking of their Kevin Heffernana run.
Run over the same distance as the Kevin Heffernan, the George Moore Stakes looks the ideal race for Famous Seamus who has Queensland race experience from the winter.
“The trip to Brisbane earlier this year really helped the horse,” his trainer said.
“He has manned up a bit and I don’t have the same worries about travelling him that I used to.”
Their best effort was a black type win over the 1200m at Eagle Farm in April, and their Prime Minister’s Cup victory over 1300m at the Gold Coast the following month.
They had two Group starts in Brisbane but finished at the tail end in both when 12th to Belltone in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) and 13th to Linton in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
There were excuses for both runs however.
Famous Seamus was found to be suffering from thumps post BTC Sprint while they ran wide throughout the Stradbroke from an awkward double digit gate.
Mayfield-Smith then remains confident that back over 1200m they can rise to the occasion at Doomben this time in a race that could include the likes of the Keith Noud Handicap second (Benny’s Buttons) and third (Morning Captain) placegetters.
His confidence grew after their last run when jockey Tim Clark hoped off to sing them praises, the hoop making the trip to Queensland to stay on them in the George Moore.
“Tim Clark is usually really conservative but he got off and was glowing in his opinion of him, so much so he is going to Doomben to ride him,” Mayfield-Smith said.
He rates the horse one of the best he’s ever had come through his stables, as good perhaps as even his 2000 Stradbroke Handicap winner Landsighting.
He’s been patient with the four time stakes winner but is really hoping this season they can bag themselves a well-earned Group trophy.
All going well Mayfield-Smith will again set Famous Seamus for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival next year with only brief rests between now and then on the schedule.
“He is a horse who enjoys stable life so I’ll give him a couple of weeks off every now and then and keep it at that,” he said.
They will be targeted at the weight-for-age $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24 as well as another go at Queensland’s richest race, the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
The 2013 George Moore Stakes final field and barrier draw is due out on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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