Trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith has revealed that he is happy with the condition of Famous Seamus ahead of the 2014 BTC Cup and is expecting an improved performance from the tough sprinter in the Group 1 event this weekend.
Famous Seamus started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with an impressive third in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on March 15 and failed to fire on wet tracks in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29 and the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
The Elusive City gelding was taken to Brisbane for the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on April 26 and was well-supported in the lead-up to the race, but was unable to get into the race and finished fifth.
Mayfield-Smith told Racing Ahead this morning that he was slightly disappointed with the effort of Famous Seamus in the Victory Stakes, but said that the five-year-old had plenty of excuses for the poor performance and is hopeful that his star sprinter can return to his best form in the BTC Cup.
“He is a lot better than leading into the last race,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“He has settled in really well, his work has been terrific and I am very happy.
“I am never really happy with this horse when he draws the inside gate; I think that he is a better horse, and his form shows that, when he can make a run down the outside.
“In that race he has got a whip to the eye and it took all of last week to heal up.
“He had legitimate excuses.”
Mayfield-Smith confirmed that Famous Seamus had taken no long term harm from the minor eye injury he suffered in the Victory Stakes and said that the Listed winner had performed strongly in trackwork yesterday.
The Hawkesbury-based trainer believes that Famous Seamus has been in the best condition of his career this campaign, but has been unable to perform at his best on wet tracks and is hoping that the rain stays away in the lead-up to the BTC Cup this weekend.
“Yesterday it was really good work,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“Ryan Wiggins rode him all the way through the winter last year and he rode him yesterday for the first time yesterday in trackwork and said that he was a completely different horse and had improved out of sight.
“He is exactly where I want him to be and he is very fresh and has been eating well.
“My biggest concern and it has been all the way through is the weather.
“It has been a really frustrating campaign in that you have a horse that has improved and is going really well, but you just can’t get him on a track that suits.”
Famous Seamus is set to run in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 24, but according to Mayfield-Smith, is no certainty to back-up in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7.