SATURDAY: June 20, 2020: NOEL Mayfield-Smith is keeping it in the family.
The multiple Group 1 winning Hawkesbury trainer won two races with the now retired Stratum mare Lysistrata for long-time supporters Jim and Janice Simpson, and has now also been successful with her first two foals.
Four-year-old Hamish The Swift (by Dawn Approach) broke through at Goulburn in April at his 15th start, and his younger three-year-old half-brother Invictus Felix (by Poet’s Voice) didn’t take anywhere as long to post his first win, scoring at Newcastle today at only his fourth start.
And what a win in the 3YO Maiden Handicap (1400m) it was!
Invictus Felix ($3.60 favorite) gave his connections – and his backers – a real scare when he settled last from an outside barrier and was the widest runner entering the straight.
Apprentice Brock Ryan took the gelding to the extreme outside of the field and he sustained a determined burst to overhaul Vigoroso ($5) and another Hawkesbury representative, Garry White’s Timely Shadow ($11).
Mayfield-Smith, understandably, was full of praise for his young horse.
“Invictus Felix did a fantastic job to come from a virtually impossible position,” he said.
“He was unlucky when placed at his previous start at Hawkesbury (his second successive minor placing at home) and I feel he is above average.
“The owners and myself will have a chat this week to decide if we keep going this preparation or give him a break.”
Time has been of the essence in getting Invictus Felix to the track, let alone becoming a winner.
“He damaged the edge of a tendon one morning when we were going through the normal procession of getting him ready to race,” Mayfield-Smith explained.
“As a result, he had 12 months’ rehabilitation and this is his first racing preparation.”
Mayfield-Smith also has the so far unnamed two-year-old half-sister (by Cox Plate winner Adelaide) to Hamish The Swift and Invictus Felix.
. He reports rising 12-year-old Famous Seamus, one his Group 1 winners and also raced by the Simpsons, is hale and hearty in retirement at Hawkesbury.