The opening Group 1 of this year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival has been run and won this afternoon at Doomben Racecourse with a massive upset from the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained roughie Famous Seamus.
Proving the huge opinion his dedicated, and today very emotional, trainer has always had of him the Elusive City five-year-old beat home six better fancied rivals including the odds-on favourite Buffering in today’s $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
“No one believed in this horse, they all thought I was off me tree,” Mayfield-Smith told Sky Racing after the victory, his second Group 1 along with the 2000 Stradbroke Handicap with Landsighting.
Coming via a fifth place finish behind a field of fellow BTC Cup hopes in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago at Eagle Farm, Famous Seamus ($21) silenced the doubters with their brave victory over the Tony Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom ($5) today.
In third to finish off the surprise BTC Cup trifecta was then Rob Heathcote’s triple Group 1 champion and shortie in the markets, Buffering ($1.75), who just couldn’t hold on to the lead they snared late.
Buffering missed the kick by about a half-length allowing for Joe Pride’s The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees to drive up out of the gates the take the lead before eventually dropping right out to finish last.
The favourite soon moved up to take up second at the 900m mark while the Gerald Ryan-trained Hot Snitzel was racing a bit keenly in third.
The local hero started to come hard and fast as they came round the bend, Tiger Tees quickly losing his lead as the likes of Gollan’s Victory Stakes winner Temple Of Boom and co. wound up.
It looked like Buffering was going to get the job done for the punters and score his first Group 1 in front of a home crowd, but Famous Seamus pulled out a slashing run to steal the show.
“I’ve seen a lot of good horses, I’ve had a couple, and this bloke had everything to suit,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“He drew a good gate, the ground was reasonably well.
“And that’s what he is, he’s always been good.
“I travel with these horses myself and take time off to do it and it does, it means a lot.
“I means more that he’s won it… just that he’s proved the point that he’s good.”
Enjoying his third win of the day, and his maiden Group 1 winning ride, flying young jockey Ryan Wiggins got the run of the race again and guided Famous Seamus to a well-earned victory – the horse’s first since the Listed Lighting Handicap (110m) at Randwick in October last year.
“It was unreal,” Wiggins said.
“I couldn’t believe how good I was going.
“He just did it all for me.
“He’s just that couple of lengths off those top class horses, but when things go his way like today, well.”
The BTC Cup is the traditional lead-up to the upcoming $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), run this year back at the track on May 24, with six of the past Doomben 10,000 winners having come via the Cup.
Two have completed the double in that time with Apache Cat (2009) and Sea Siren (2012) and now Famous Seamus is sure to be a favourite to do it in 2014.
Wiggins, who didn’t rate his horse a chance today, was over the moon with the victory and also rates them a nice type for the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
“I think he’s more of a Stradbroke Handicap horse,” Wiggins said.
“Jeez he was good today though.”
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2014 BTC Cup Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 7 – 10/05/2014
|1||6||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Ryan Wiggins||–||4||58.5kg||$21|
|2||2||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||0.5L||6||58.5kg||$5.50|
|3||1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||1.3L||3||58.5kg||$1.75F|
|4||3||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison (a)||1.4L||1||58.5kg||$15|
|5||8||PERON||John P Thompson||James McDonald||2.9L||5||56.5kg||$19|
|6||5||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Nash Rawiller||4.4L||7||58.5kg||$7|
|7||4||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Glen Colless||6.2L||2||58.5kg||$12|
|–||7||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Jim Byrne||–||0||–||–|