Sydney jockey Tim Clark will stick with Famous Seamus when he makes a return visit to Brisbane in the Group 3 $200,000 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Clark gave trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith a glowing report after the pair finished third to Lankan Rupee in the weight for age Group 3 $135,000 TMB Printing Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on November 16 and is keen to follow him north.
“Tim Clark is usually really conservative but he got off and was glowing in his opinion of him, so much so he is going to Doomben to ride him,’ Mayfield-Smith told AAP.
“He didn’t handle the track at all so it was a great run.”
Mayfield-Smith is not afraid to travel the Elusive City five year old who has raced in Sydney and Melbourne since a successful Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign earlier in the year.
Famous Seamus won the Listed $80,000 APHS Hinkler Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on April 20 followed by a win in the Listed $175,000 Carlton Draught Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) at the Gold Coast on May 4.
Mayfield-Smith then stepped Famous Seamus up in class but he failed to figure in the finish when twelfth to Belltone in the Group 3 $125,000 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 18 and then had no luck when thirteenth to Linton in the Group 1 $1.36m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
“The trip to Brisbane earlier this year really helped the horse. He has manned up a bit and I don’t have the same worries about travelling him that I used to,” Mayfield-Smith said.
The Hawkesbury based trainer expects a bold showing from the five year old on Saturday and is expecting to return to Brisbane again next winter to tackle the Stradbroke Handicap again, after winning the race with Landsighting in 2000.
The Group 1 $650,000 Carlton Mid Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben in May is also on the Winter Carnival agenda with Mayfield-Smith keen to test Famous Seamus at weight for age again after his third in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
The strength of the Kevin Heffernan Stakes was reflected when winning trainer Mick Price suggested that he would give Lankan Rupee a short break before preparing him for some of the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival races with the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 12 on the radar.
Famous Seamus has won at least one race at each of his campaigns and made it back to back wins in the Listed $100,000 City Tattersalls Club Lightning Handicap (1100m) at Randwick on October 19 before he headed to Melbourne.