The promise of a dry track will lure Famous Seamus away from the last day of the Sydney autumn carnival to tackle the Group Two Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith’s decision to head north means Famous Seamus will take a weight-for-age route to the Group One Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), a race in which he ran 13th last year after losing a plate.
The Victory Stakes is one of only three weight-for-age sprint races in Queensland and Famous Seamus is set to contest all of them.
Mayfield-Smith believes Famous Seamus is a better horse this year than when he won two races during last year’s Brisbane winter.
Famous Seamus won the Hinkler Quality at Eagle Farm and the Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast before unplaced runs in the BRC Sprint and Stradbroke to finish his 2014 winter.
The gelding ran third first-up in the Challenge Stakes at 1000m behind Villa Verde but has been well beaten on rain-affected tracks at his next two starts, including an 11th to Lankan Rupee in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
Mayfield-Smith says the wet tracks have been against Famous Seamus showing his best.
“Let’s hope the good weather continues through the winter in Brisbane,” he said.
“He is a horse who goes far better on dry tracks and that is the reason we are heading up there on Saturday.”
Famous Seamus has won eight races with six of those wins coming on good tracks.
Mayfield-Smith said Famous Seamus would tackle the Doomben Group One weight-for-age double of the BTC Sprint (1200m) and the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on his way to the Stradbroke on June 8.
The Hawkesbury trainer is certain Famous Seamus is up to the best weight-for-age races.
“I think the handicaps, except for the big races, are behind him. He gets weighted out of them,” he said.
Ryan Wiggins will ride Famous Seamus on Saturday and is in line to keep the mount during the winter.