2015 Challenge Stakes First-up for Famous Seamus

February 18th, 2015

Securing several impressive results over the 2014 Australian racing calendar, trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith has confirmed classy sprinter Famous Seamus is on track for a racing return in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 7th.

Famous Seamus will return to racing in the 2015 Challenge Stakes. Photo: Daniel Costello

Famous Seamus will return to racing in the 2015 Challenge Stakes. Photo: Daniel Costello

Securing ten wins and a further nine minor places over his 35 start career so far, Famous Seamus has not been seen at the races since placing a credible sixth in the talent-rich Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8th.

Pleased with the form and class displayed by the Elusive City gelding since returning to racing, Mayfield-Smith is confident his stable star will return in even greater form this year, beginning with the 2015 Challenge Stakes, a race for which he finished third as a $71 chance in 2014.

“What came out of his run in the Darley was that he wasn’t as good in the straight and he seemed to get a bit lost,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“He is a horse that strangely enough works off the markers of the position of the track to make his run and he sort of does it on his own.

“Once he straightens he really finds the bit, but down the straight he didn’t know where he was, so we decided to bypass those races.

“It is a fairly big concern really because he is also no good on tracks that cut up, which was his problem in Brisbane.

“It is a pretty narrow sort of window where he performs best on in terms of the track.”

Unable to make much of an impact in two Sydney starts following his Challenge Stakes third, Famous Seamus found exceptional form upon travelling north for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Carnival; running fifth in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) before breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 10th.

Running third in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) and winning the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1100m) leading into an impressive third in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) over spring, Famous Seamus will return to Group 1 racing in The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 21st before progressing to the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) in Victoria.