Group One regular Famous Seamus has certainly gone the distance in a career spanning 57 starts and now, in the twilight of his racing life, he is being challenged to go the extra mile.
For only the second time in a competitive streak that started with a win on debut at Gosford in October 2011, the eight-year-old takes on 1600m in Friday’s Listed Scone Cup.
The durable sprinter first stepped up to the mile for the Group Three Hawkesbury Gold Cup on his home track at his previous start on April 29, and trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith believes it is worth persevering at the distance.
Jay Ford, who has ridden Famous Seamus in seven of his past nine starts, suggested Mayfield-Smith consider the 1600m and although the veteran ran ninth in the Hawkesbury Cup, the feeling is the 14-time Group One contender can still give the youngsters a run for their money.
“He’s still circulating at the same speed as he was when he was four and five. He hasn’t lost anything,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“It’s surprising I suppose, that’s just how he is.
“I put trackings on him every time he gallops and they’re exactly the same as they were two years ago.”
Famous Seamus, whose previous Group One attempt was last month’s All Aged Stakes (1400m), has three TJ Smith Stakes starts on his resume, a brace of Stradbroke Handicaps and two runs in the The Galaxy.
His solitary Group One success was the BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben in 2014.
Mayfield-Smith was unsure about how long Famous Seamus, who last won at Hawkesbury in November, would continue racing.
“As long as he’s competitive he’ll last. At the moment everything’s fine with him,” he said.
The next start after Scone would be assessed after the Cup, though the Queensland winter carnival seems unlikely.
“He doesn’t handle wet ground and Brisbane’s looking a bit miserable at the moment. We’ve been through winter a few times and it’s been a waste,” Mayfield-Smith said.