Famous Seamus will make his Moonee Valley debut in the 2014 Manikato Stakes, but jockey Tim Clark does not believe the tough sprinter will have any problems handling the tight-turning circuit in the Group 1 event on Friday night.
Clark rode Famous Seamus in both the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 4, but he rode the Elusive City gelding for the first time in trackwork yesterday morning at the Breakfast With The Best event at Moonee Valley.
The Sydney-based hoop told Racing Ahead yesterday that Famous Seamus hit the long strongly in his trackwork gallop over 1000 metres and he was delighted with the way the six-year-old got around the Moonee Valley circuit ahead of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) this weekend.
“I am really happy,” Clarke said.
“It is the first time that I have ever ridden him in work actually and they always say that he is a really good track worker and he worked lovely here this morning.
“He dipped off the last bend and ran home really well late without a lot of pressure and more importantly he seemed to get around the track really well.
“The horse is in great order; you only need to look at him and Noel has got him peaking.
“His two runs have been really good this prep and there are no excuses going into Friday night.
“It will be a hard race, but he is a Group 1 winner, he is capable and he will measure up and give it a good shake.”
Famous Seamus settled just behind the leaders in the Premiere Stakes before battling home bravely to record his second win at Group level, but Clarke said that he will be taking a different tactical approach in the Manikato Stakes.
The inclusion of Buffering, Lankan Rupee and Bounding in the 2014 Manikato Stakes field means that there will be plenty of speed early and Clarke said that he is happy to let Famous Seamus settle towards the tail of the filed before having the last crack at his rivals in the Group 1 event this weekend.
“It looks like we are going to get a good speed and that will help him,” Clark said.
“He will be finishing hard.
“He did it the hard way and you don’t see the best of him when he is ridden like that, but it was just how it panned out.
“I had to ride him to win the race and his best form is when he is back off a good speed and he can run 33 and change for home.
“That is when he runs his best race and that looks like how the race is going to set up on Friday night.”
Famous Seamus is currently available at 2014 Manikato Stakes odds of $17, while Terravista ($3.40) remains a narrow favourite from Lankan Rupee ($3.90) and Buffering ($6).