It was 14 years ago last weekend that Noel Mayfield-Smith won the Caulfield Guineas with In Top Swing. Whilst Monday’s Orange meeting was indeed a far cry from those lofty Group One heights, the experienced Hawkesbury trainer is looking positively to the future with his winner Ausbred Diamond.
Having only her second start and given a 'gem' of a ride by Jess Taylor, Ausbred Diamond ($18) broke through in a 1600m Maiden Handicap. But Mayfield-Smith isn’t in any hurry to try to win another race with her in the coming weeks, and has pulled the pin on her current campaign.
“I decided before Monday’s race that she would spell - win, lose or draw,” he said. “There’s no going back on that. While the Orange race wasn’t strong, there were very positive signs to come out of it. She beat older horses over a mile at only her second start, was strong through the line and has pulled up well. Ausbred Diamond has a staying pedigree and, after a break, we’ll bring her back into work and see how far she can go.”
The Al Maher filly is out of a mare (Silamani) by noted staying influence Singspiel. Silamani was retired after only three starts.
Ausbred Diamond is the first horse Mayfield-Smith has prepared for owners Chris and Lyn Lawlor, who race their horses under the 'Ausbred' banner.
“I was given the opportunity to train a horse for Chris and Lyn and picked this filly out of the paddock,” Mayfield-Smith said. “We didn’t race her as a two-year-old because of issues at the gates. That’s why we use a barrier blanket on her.”
Ausbred Diamond was Mayfield-Smith’s first winner in the new season and ended his exasperating run of minor placings: “I’ve had a stack of seconds, so it was good to finally win another race,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of nice young horses coming along.”
Mayfield-Smith is a multiple Group 1-winning trainer. Apart from his 2003 Caulfield Guineas success with In Top Swing, he also won the 1993 Flight Stakes at Randwick with Angst, both 2000 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm and 2001 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill with Landsighting, and 2014 BTC Cup at Doomben with Famous Seamus (now also retired).
“Both Landsighting and Famous Seamus have remained with us at Hawkesbury, and both are well looked after,” Mayfield-Smith said. “Landsighting is 22 and in terrific health.”
Talented Hawkesbury mare Spright (Jay Ford) will have her second start this preparation for trainer Garry Frazer in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 3 The Nivison (1200m) at Royal Randwick. She returns to competing against her own sex after a first-up ninth (beaten only 2.3 lengths) to Isorich in a Benchmark 90 Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on September 30.