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A tough Premiere Stakes victory against his normal pattern of racing has convinced trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith Famous Seamus can mix it with the best sprinters in the land.

He will get his chance against Lankan Rupee, Buffering and co later this month in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The scratching of Rain Affair from Saturday’s Group Two Premiere (1200m) at Randwick left the race without its natural leader and Charlie Boy ($16) was the one to go to the front.

Famous Seamus

Famous Seamus

Famous Seamus ($2.20 fav) raced third on a limb, closer than he prefers, but had plenty left at the end as he overtook Charlie Boy to win by a short neck.

“He showed a lot of fight today in a race with no speed on,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“It was a hard grinding win against the way he likes to race.

“It’s the sign of a good horse. He goes to the Manikato now.”

Famous Seamus already has a Group One decision over Buffering in the BTC Sprint in which his rival finished third.

“He ran third to Lankan Rupee in the Kevin Heffernan last spring when he didn’t handle the downhill run at Caulfield,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“I just hope he handles Moonee Valley. I always knew this would be his best year and he can go down there and take them on.”

Jockey Tim Clark said he had few options and opted to maintain his position after the barriers opened.

“He jumped well and there was no point giving away ground,” he said.

“With Rain Affair coming out it was just going to be a dawdle.

“Even though he covered a bit of ground they went slow it made it a fair bit easier.

“Noel and everyone has done a great job on him and I pretty much only get on his back raceday and trials and they do a fantastic job.”

Generalife ($4) finished fourth after failing to get a clear run leaving James McDonald lamenting he should have won.

 
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