It has been a while between drinks for Famous Seamus, the all-round gentleman of Noel Mayfield-Smith’s yard.
But according to his trainer, the veteran Group One winner is showing the condition to get back to the winner’s circle for the first time since last year’s Group Three Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
As Famous Seamus ages, he becomes more suited to 1400m races like Thursday’s Listed Ladies’ Day Cup at Hawkesbury.
It will be the first time since winning the Lightning at Randwick in October 2013 Famous Seamus has raced in Listed company and the second time in 53 starts he has raced on his home track.
Mayfield-Smith opted to trial the gelding at Randwick on Friday to keep him ticking over after he beat one runner home in the Group Three Moonga Stakes at Caulfield on October 15.
With limited options elsewhere Famous Seamus ran in the Moonga at a track which has never suited him.
“He just doesn’t handle the downhill run,” Mayfield-Smith said.
His was third in the Group Three Cameron Handicap at Newcastle first-up behind Chetwood, who won a Listed race in Melbourne, and Le Romain who took out the Group One Cantala Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
After the Cameron, Famous Seamus contracted a virus which kept him out of action for three weeks before he finished ninth in the Group Two Premiere Stakes on October 1.
With that setback solved, Mayfield-Smith says he looks better than he has all preparation.
“His coat took a long time to come good, well it has now and it looks nice and bright,” he said.
“If you’re at the coalface with him and know him really well you’d be able to look at those runs and not come out of them with too much disappointment.”
The eight-year-old won the Group One BTC Cup in 2014 and was placed in a Manikato Stakes for long-time stable clients Jim and Janice Simpson.
While he is getting older, his demeanour hasn’t changed.
“He’s a pleasant sort of a horse and very kind,” Mayfield-Smith said.
“It’s good to have him around.”
Stablemate Unequivocal is on a quick back-up from finishing sixth of nine runners at Rosehill on Saturday in a race in which she settled near the tail in an on-pace dominated affair.
“She’s the sort of horse that likes a bit of speed on to give her the chance to find the line,” Mayfield-Smith said.