The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
After declaring a trip to Brisbane for the winter with veteran sprinter Famous Seamus would be a “waste”, Hawkesbury-based trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith confirmed plans to run the galloper in Friday’s 2017 Scone Cup over a mile.
The headline event of the two-day Scone Cup Carnival, this season’s $200,000 Listed Scone Cup (1600m) will see eight-year-old Elusive City gelding Famous Seamus step out over the distance for just the second time.
Incredibly, his first came only last start on April 29 in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) where he stepped out on track for the 57th time.
After contesting his 14th Group 1 race when five lengths away eighth to Tivaci at Randwick in mid-April’s All Aged Stakes (1400m), Famous Seamus ran ninth to Fabrizio in the Hawkesbury Cup.
Despite the unplaced finish, Mayfield-Smith has taken confidence from the post-race comments of jockey Jay Ford and will press onto another 1600m run in the Scone Cup with his evergreen galloper.
Famous Seamus chases his first win since a black-type over 1400m at Hawkesbury in November last year.
While his winning strike-rate isn’t high, Famous Seamus certainly has ability proven by his Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) success back in 2014, a race run as the Kingsford-Smith Cup over 1300m from 2017 onwards.
Confident the horse is going as good as ever, Mayfield-Smith ruled out a trip up to this year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival saying the wet weather in Queensland didn’t suit.
“He’s still circulating at the same speed as he was when he was four and five. He hasn’t lost anything,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“It’s surprising I suppose, that’s just how he is.
“I put trackings on him every time he gallops and they’re exactly the same as they were two years ago.
“He doesn’t handle wet ground and Brisbane’s looking a bit miserable at the moment. We’ve been through winter a few times and it’s been a waste.”
Nothing at this stage however suggests that Mayfield-Smith is considering retiring his $1.3 million earner.
“As long as he’s competitive he’ll last. At the moment everything’s fine with him,” he said.
The Scone Cup field will see FamousSeamus face off against the likes of the Hawkesbury Cup winner Fabrizio along with the second and third placegetters out of the same lead-up Moher and Testashadow.
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