Hawkesbury trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith believes Civic Stakes combatant Famous Seamus (NZ) is a better horse than dual Group 1 winner In Top Swing.
Famous Seamus (NZ), picture Sportpix.com.au
Almost a decade has passed since Mayfield-Smith claimed the Golden Rose-Caulfield Guineas double in 2003 with his stable’s greatest ever product, and he might just be on the verge of another rollercoaster ride to the top.
“In my mind he’s probably a little bit better than In Top Swing, he certainly shows it on the track and his record’s not too bad,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“If you look at a horse like In Top Swing, he won the Guineas and so on but he was running against his own age too. Don’t forget that as a three-year-old he [Famous Seamus] has beaten older horses twice now.
“I think he can probably go to Group status if he develops and improves that little bit. I also think he’ll be a better horse when he gets the sit, unfortunately on Saturday there doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race.”
That race is the $100,000, listed Civic Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday where Famous Seamus is chasing the biggest win of his career.
Mayfield-Smith’s Elusive City gelding may well have already had a stakes win to his name, were it not for a somewhat frustrating autumn campaign.
His saddle slipped in the Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) three runs back and he could only manage fourth behind the ultra-impressive Free Wheeling.
A month later he was balloted out of the June Stakes but he cashed in two weeks back with a win in Benchmark 85 company.
Back-to-back Sydney triumphs beckon, although Mayfield-Smith is treading cautiously under a halo of quiet confidence.
“It was a frustrating autumn program early but he’s at least won a race and run second so he’s done pretty well,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“I’m very confident that the horse will run extremely well but he’s not very well in at the weights.
“If you look at a horse like that horse of [John] O’Shea’s [Alberton Park] it’s a 90-something rate horse and he’s given it about 10 or so benchmark points for one kilo.
“I don’t know how they work it out if you’re going to work it out on the benchmark system then why are these horses all on the same weights.”
Group One placegetter Lady Lynette will carry 59kg and has severely compressed the weights.
Famous Seamus and Alberton Park are joint $4.60 favourites for the Civic Stakes with fixed odds at TAB Sportsbet.
Lady Lynette is rated a $9 chance.