Famous Seamus has been included in the 2015 Challenge Stakes field and trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith is confident that the talented sprinter can make a winning start to his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
Famous Seamus recorded his maiden win at Group 1 level when he took out the BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and he proved that performance was no fluke when he won the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 and produced credible performances in both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Elusive City gelding has only had one barrier trial heading into the Challenge Stakes, but Mayfield-Smith is happy with the physical condition of the six-year-old and told Racing Ahead that he is forward enough to win the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick this weekend.
“He is really well, his gallop on Tuesday was outstanding,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“It was well up to par with anything that he has done.
“I don’t really think that he needs a lot of trialing and I monitor his weight very carefully and it is there.
“I have always only ever trialed him once and I am happy to do that.
“There is improvement to come out of him and I never really have him wound-up first-up because if they are having a few runs you want them to continue to improve, but he is forward enough to run a very good race on Saturday.
“If the race is run to suit him he will be close.
“I am pretty confident.”
Speedy sprinter Deep Field was not included in the 2015 Challenge Stakes field, but Famous Seamus will still face some stiff competition in the $400,000 event.
Veteran sprinter Rain Affair, Godolphin sprinter Knoydart, Jason Coyle-trained Va Pensiero, 2013 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Miracles Of Life, talented mare Villa Verde, Schillaci Stakes winner Rubick and Bryan Dais-trained Solidi Domani will all be starting their autumn campaigns in the race, while Tas Morton-trained Nuclear Class will have a clear fitness edge over his rivals.
2014 Golden Slipper winner Mossfun has been included in both the Challenge Stakes and Fireball Quality fields, but the talented filly will contest the Challenge Stakes following the withdrawal of her stablemate.
Mossfun will be returning to the races for the first time since she finished sixth in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 14.