Mayfield-Smith playing waiting game with Famous Roman
Brian Mayfield-Smith is prepared to wait to play his hand with former West Australian galloper Famous Roman.
The Group One performer was among Perth’s top gallopers and will have his second run for Mayfield-Smith in Saturday’s third heat of the Winter Championship (1400m) at Flemington.
Mayfield-Smith said the four-year-old was still working up to this best this campaign and that he was satisfied with his first-up effort when 12th to Gold Salute in Flemington’s Murray Cox Handicap (1400m) last month.
"He was beaten five lengths last start but he was pretty fat," Mayfield-Smith said.
"I still don’t think he’s at his top, but he’s fitter now and I am sure he will run better.
Formerly trained by Ken Williamson, Famous Roman crossed the Nullarbor to join Mayfield-Smith’s stable after being highly competitive in a series of stakes races in Perth late last year.
In November he was beaten only 2-1/2 lengths when ninth to Gilded Venom in the Group One Railway Stakes (1600m) a week after beating that horse and Pillar Of Hercules in the Group Three RJ Peters Stakes (1500m).
Mayfield-Smith said Famous Roman races best in blinkers and they will go back on for the first time in Melbourne on Saturday.
"He goes better with them on so he will wear them again," Mayfield-Smith said.
While conceding that Famous Roman has improvement to come, Mayfield-Smith is mindful that he needs to run well to make the Listed Winter Championship Final at Flemington on July 4.
"He has got a bit of class and timing is the name of the game," Mayfield-Smith said.
Ben Melham is Famous Roman’s new rider replacing Chris Symons who has committed to the Mathew Ellerton-trained Monsieur Feraud.
Symons forfeited rides at Sandown on Wednesday and Ballarat on Thursday but is confident he will be fit to ride on Saturday after battling a bad cold.
His other rides are Masai Miss, Arms Wide Open, Yoakam, Little Boy Blue, Sir Walter and The Fonz.
Ellerton was pleased that Monsieur Feraud got a run in Saturday’s series heat after fearing he would be balloted from the race which attracted 35 nominations.
He was preparing to make alternative plans for the grey when only 17 horses were final acceptors including one emergency, Delayed Reaction.
Ellerton said the Winter Championship series suits Monsieur Feraud who is second-up after finishing third to Tictacs at Sandown last month.