Consistent sprinter Famous Seamus returned to winning form with a strong performance in the 2015 Kevin Heffernan Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
Famous Seamus was settled just behind the leader Java in the early stages of the Kevin Heffernan Stakes and the leaders received a fairly easy time of it in front after a big mid-race slowdown.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy sent Famous Seamus to the front at the top of the straight and he kicked away from his rivals to record an impressive win from a fast-finishing Generalife and extreme outsider Gracious Prospect.
McEvoy had previously partnered Famous Seamus when he finished ninth behind Dissident in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 18 and he was thrilled to record his first race win of the son of Elusive City.
“It seems like he has been around for ages,” McEvoy said.
“I got some confidence out of his weight-for-age form up in Sydney where he wasn’t beaten far by Winx.
“From a good gate today I was able to put him a bit closer and he did the job.
“I was a little bit worried because he was towing me out of the sadly at the 800 and I was in front early enough, but he was full of running once we got out of the dip and he was too hard for us to catch then.
“He is a quality old horse and under weight-for-age conditions I gave him a good chance today.”
Famous Seamus started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with credible efforts in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12 and the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 3, but he had no luck in running when seventh in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 17 and the Group 3 Guvera Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 31.
Trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith was adamant in the lead-up to the Kevin Heffernan Stakes that Famous Seamus’ lead-up form was better than it looked on paper and his wife Emma Mayfield-Smith said that their star galloper was deserving of his return to winning form.
“We have never lost faith in him,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“He gives everything every time he races and always does his best.
“He deserved that more than any horse today and I am really, really happy.
“It was a great ride, he just does what you ask and he is not a very hard horse to ride.
“You just push the button and away you go.”
Generalife took a while to find clear running in the straight, but he found the line strongly once he got out, while favourite Under The Louvre did not show his usual turn-of-foot and missed the placings.