It’s been almost four years and 40 starts since Group One-winning sprinter Famous Seamus stepped out over 1500 metres but his trainer believes now is the time to try again.
The eight-year-old runs in Saturday’s Group Three Festival Stakes at Rosehill and, if he performs as Noel Mayfield-Smith hopes, he will be aimed at Sydney’s summer showpiece, the Villiers Stakes (1600m).
The only time Famous Seamus has run over the Festival distance was in March 2013 when he finished two lengths fifth in the Group Two Ajax Stakes and Mayfield-Smitrh wonders why he waited so long.
“Every jockey who rides him says he’s looking for further,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“There should be some pace in the race and I expect him to be right behind the speed.”
Famous Seamus counts the 2014 Group One BTC Cup among his 12 wins which also include the more recent Ladies Day Cup (1400m) on his home track, Hawkesbury.
Mayfield-Smith admits he made a mistake taking him to Melbourne and back in distance for the Group Three Heffernan Stakes (1300m) in which he was unplaced and is comfortable with the rise to 1500 metres on Saturday.
“He’s come out of his last race well and is ready for it,” he said.
Famous Seamus will carry second top weight of 58.5kg, half a kilogram less than Amovatio, one of three runners for premier trainer Chris Waller.
Amovatio hasn’t raced since his fourth in the Group Three L’Oreal Paris (1400m) at Flemington on November 3 won by the Darren Weir-trained Rageese who is among the 15 Festival Stakes entries.
“Amovatio won a jump-out at Flemington last Friday and his fitness is up to the mark,” Waller said.
Waller’s other runners will be last-start winner Religify and Marenostro who finished 6-1/2 lengths behind his stablemate when seventh at Rosehill last Saturday week.
“Marenostro was a bit soft first-up but I think he will have come on,” Waller said.
“It was a smart ride by Kerrin McEvoy on Religify last time.”
Religify will carry 57.5kg on Saturday, a kilo more than Marenostro