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Famous Seamus gearing up for autumn
Caryl Williamson
16:46 AEST Sun Jan 6 2013

The lessons learned from an unsuccessful trip to Melbourne with Famous Seamus will be heeded in the autumn by trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith.

On the back of his first stakes win the Listed Lightning Stakes at Randwick, Famous Seamus went to Flemington for a 1200m Listed race on Melbourne Cup day, finishing well out of the money.

Mayfield-Smith makes no secret of his belief the four-year-old has the potential to be as good as 2004 Stradbroke Handicap winner Landsighting, but also says he is not as easy to figure out.

"He's a funny horse. Sometimes I think he needs a psychiatrist not a trainer," Mayfield-Smith said.

"I would be very cautious about travelling him again.

"He went from 510 kilograms to 498 even though he ate well all the time. He just proved to be a terrible traveller."

Famous Seamus has regained the weight, and a bit more, and will be set for a Sydney campaign with the trainer's dreams of another Stradbroke on hold.

"I always thought he would be a good Stradbroke horse but after the way he travelled I have my doubts about taking him to Brisbane," he said.

"We may nominate for the Doncaster but I think he will be an ideal horse for the George Ryder.

"He can settle anywhere and has a high cruising speed."

Landsighting won the 2001 running of the weight-for-age George Ryder Stakes (1500m) which this year is on April 6.

The winner of five of his 12 starts, Famous Seamus is likely to run in a barrier trial in early February after spending his down-time since Melbourne close to Mayfield-Smith's back door.

"I had him in the paddock and an hour later he'd be at the gate wanting to come back," he said.

"It's not that he's upset - nothing worries him - but he is very sociable.

"He's completely different from any horse I've had before."

After Landsighting, Mayfield-Smith enjoyed success again at the highest level with 2003 Caulfield Guineas winner In Top Swing.

But the past couple of years have been testing for the trainer who is rebuilding his business.

"I have never in my career which started in 1991 had a worse year than 2011," the Hawkesbury-based Mayfield-Smith said.

"It was shocking. My stable went from 40 to 12 in work as people couldn't afford to keep horses.

"Things are slowly picking up and we have great facilities at Hawkesbury for training horse so hopefully it continues."


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