Trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith has revealed that the 2015 Warwick Stakes could be the first-up target for Group 1 winner Famous Seamus.
Famous Seamus has generally raced over 1200 metres throughout his racing career, but he has performed well when given the opportunity over 1400 metres and Mayfield-Smith is keen to give the Elusive City gelding a full campaign over the extended trip.
Mayfield-Smith told Sky Racing HQ that Famous Seamus had become a more settled horse as he has gotten older and he confirmed that he will run the rising seven-year-old in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22 first-up if he performs well in two barrier upcoming barrier trials.
“We are looking at extending him out a bit,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“He has before and he has had five runs over 1400 and he has been placed in three of those and his two unplaced runs over 1400 were in Stradbrokes where he lost plates in the running.
“We will try him over 1400 and if he goes well in that we may try him over even further.
“I always thought that he was the ideal 1500 metre type horse at Rosehill because he has a good turn-of-foot and he can sit up there on the speed.
“He is a lot more settled and he seems to enjoy racing a lot further back in the field than what he did early in his career.
“If he is going well and his condition is good I would run him first-up in the Warwick Stakes.”
Famous Seamus has been one of the most consistent sprinters in the country over the past 2 years, but he was unable to perform at his best during his autumn campaign.
The veteran galloper performed fairly in both the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on March 7 and the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 27, but he did not appreciate the wet tracks in both the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 or the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on April 18.
Mayfield-Smith said that Famous Seamus was plagued by wet tracks in the autumn, but he has been happy with the trackwork of the rising seven-year-old since he returned to his stable and he is confident that his star galloper can return to his best form during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
“It was a washout,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“If you look at his form and go back to that same period in the autumn, his form is always average around then.
“It was really frustrating because he was going really well and in his last run Kerrin McEvoy rode him and he said that he just didn’t handle it at all, but he said that he still had a lot of enthusiasm for racing and it was a good run, which is a good thing to hear when you have a horse that is getting up in the age.
“He is exactly the same as he was in every other preparation.
“He is well into his three-quarter and he is always very strong in that before he settles himself down a bit.
“He is just happy to get out there and work and he hasn’t changed a bit.”
Famous Seamus has recorded ten wins from his 39 race starts and has accumulated over $1 million in prizemoney for connections.