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Charmmebaby set to spring another surprise

Thu 23 December 2021

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Lawrie Mayfield-Smith is confident Charmmebaby can live up her surprise stakes victory in the Brisbane Handicap when she tackles the Listed Bernborough Handicap at Doomben on Sunday.

Charmmebaby was originally trained by Bob Milligan in Taree, NSW but was sent to Mayfield-Smith to chase feature race success during the TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnival.

The five-year-old made a spectacular Brisbane debut, storming home to give the Doomben trainer his second Brisbane Handicap win.

Mayfield-Smith believes Charmmebaby has improved since her Brisbane Handicap win and expects another strong performance.

“I reckon she’s improved since she won the Brisbane Handicap,” he said.

“It’s a stronger field but she’ll be very competitive again.

“It didn’t surprise me when she won last time as her work was fantastic.

“I knew she’d be in the finish and my only concern was when she got so far back early on.”

Mayfield-Smith has named The Harrovian and Niccanova as the main threats to Charmmebaby.

“The Harrovian ran a good race to run fifth in the Recognition Stakes and Niccanova never runs a bad race,” he said.

The trainer is unsure of Charmmebaby’s immediate summer plans following this Sunday but is hopeful she’ll stay in the stable a bit longer.

Mayfield-Smith is a brother to retired former champion trainer Brian Mayfield-Smith and Noel Mayfield-Smith who still trains at Coffs Harbour.

Having recently battled bowel cancer, he has returned to the training ranks more determined than ever.

“I was working on a Sunday one day when I collapsed from a haemorrhage,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“Luckily they were able to cut the cancer out but there were a few problems associated with it but I’m fine now.”

Mayfield-Smith has been training for 45 years since taking out his licence in 1976.

He has trained many good horses over the years, with his best win coming thanks to Post Elect in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick in 1990.