If it’s a dry track the price on Famous Seamus is a beauty for Saturday according to the last start BTC Cup winner’s trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith who rates them a top chance in the Doomben 10,000 2014.
In the pre-field odds for this year’s $650,000 Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m) Elusive City five-year-old Famous Seamus is outside of single figures at a current quote of $10.
That’s despite the fact they beat home two of the top fancies, local hopes Spirit Of Boom (2nd) and Buffering (3rd) in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) last time out.
Famous Seamus scored a BTC Cup boilover at juicy 20-1 odds, joining Angst, Landsighting and In Top Swing as Mayfield-Smith’s Group 1 winners, but pays less than half that to go back-to-back and become the third horse in the past 11 years to secure the double with the 10,000.
“I told anyone who would listen to me to back him in the BTC Cup,” Mayfield-Smith told the Daily Liberal.
“People just write off our horses because we are a small stable.
“I have been in big stables and know what a good horse is. I remember saying Landsighting was unbeatable in the Stradbroke when he won it at 20-1 and then in the George Ryder at 16-1, which he won.
“I had In Top Swing run the fastest last 200 of the morning [the Tuesday] before the Caulfield Guineas and no one took any notice. It is just what happens.”
The Hawkesbury-trained five-year-old enjoyed a Good (3) track at Doomben for their big Group 1 triumph that broke a six start drought.
Before that the Sydneysider hadn’t won a race since the Listed Lightning Handicap (1100m) at Randwick last October.
It also secured their Doomben 10,000 bid where they get the chance to score another Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival upset and prove their previous was no fluke.
Key to their chances however is how the weather in the sunshine state plays out.
Currently Brisbane is forecast for showers on Monday and Tuesday and then no more rain until after Doomben 10,000 Day.
That is ideal for Famous Seamus according to Mayfield-Smith who knows just how much better his galloper goes on top of the ground.
“I’ll walk the track early in the week just to see how chopped up it is,” he said.
“If he gets a dry track he will be the one they have to beat.”
Their record shows seven wins from 16 starts on Good ground, but none on Slow (from three attempts) and one from two on Heavy tracks.
The other run on Heavy though was a complete failure when just three starts back in Sydney they ran a distant 11th to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
“He just doesn’t handle shifting ground and other than his first-up run [a Challenge Stakes third] he hadn’t been on a dry track,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“The track was slow for the Galaxy then bottomless in the TJ Smith, then when he got to Eagle Farm it was shifty and he just didn’t handle it.
“I knew on a dry track he would be a different horse and few people had very good days because of it [after the BTC Cup].”
Doomben 10,000 betting is currently led by fellow Sydney raider Rebel Dane ($3.80) despite Gary Portelli’s California Dane four-year-old not having raced since their fifth to Hana’s Goal in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on April 26.
They are followed closely by the Rob Heathcote-trained local Buffering ($4) out to atone for their BTC Cup third when a subsequently discovered back injury hampered their performance, and the Tony Gollan-trained Spirit Of Boom.
But at their price, Famous Seamus represents great value according to Mayfield-Smith who rates their form from last season.
Before a close George Moore Stakes fifth when beaten just a length by Lucky Hussler at Doomben in December, Famous Seamus ran third behind Lankan Rupee and Hot Snitzel in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m).
With the winner that day Lankan Rupee going on to win their next four starts including a Group 1 hat-trick, the form is there for all to see.
“It was a soft track that day and he didn’t handle it, he was losing ground coming to the turn,” Mayfield-Smith said.
”He picked himself up and ran third but Tim Clark came back and said he was never comfortable.”
Famous Seamus’ regular rider Clark has missed the past two rides, including the BTC Cup victory, after suspension allowed Brisbane hoop Ryan Wiggins to break his Group 1 duck.
“Ryan rode him in [the Victory Stakes] his first run up here on the understanding that Tim would be on him in the Group 1,” Mayfield-Smith explained.
“Then Tim got suspended so Ryan stayed on and won the Group 1 on him.
“Tim had been a big part of the team but I talked with the owners and we wanted to have the same rider on him in the mornings as the race.”
All going well there’s also a chance Famous Seamus could continue onto the $1.36 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.
“I’m not sure if it will be his last run [this campaign] but he will only go to Eagle Farm for the Stradbroke if he gets good going,” Mayfield-Smith said.
There’s still plenty of time to lock in these juicy Doomben 10,000 odds before the final field is out on Wednesday.
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